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May 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Fourth upon a time, Shrek could produce no monster results at the box office. Shrek the Third may have opened in 2007 with $122 million — in 2D — but Shrek Forever After dropped 42 percent below that figure this weekend, to an estimated $71.3 million, despite premium 3D prices that saw tickets rise to nearly $20 apiece in some IMAX locations. (The Associated Press reported Sunday night that a few IMAX theaters that had originally posted $20 ticket prices for Shrek Forever After dropped the prices on Friday and offered refunds to “any guest who purchased a ticket at the incorrect price.”) Some box-office forecasters had predicted that the movie might fall below $100 million, but few, if any, had anticipated that it would drop as steeply as it did. Nevertheless, there was little threat that it would lose any green. The weekend figure still places it fourth among the all-time animated box-office champs — and it has the family audience all to itself for the next month. The box office produced other disappointments this weekend. Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood each dropped about 50 percent from last weekend, with Iron Man winding up with $26.6 million and Robin Hood, with only $18.7 million. The only other film to open wide, Universal’s MacGruber, grabbed just $4.1 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:

1. Shrek Forever After, $71.3 million; 2. Iron Man 2, $26.6 million; 3. Robin Hood, $18.7 million; 4. Letters to Juliet, $9.1 million; 5. Just Wright, $4.2 million; 6. MacGruber, $4.1 million; 7. Date Night, $2.8 million; 8. A Nightmare on Elm Street, $2.3 million; 9. How to Train Your Dragon, $1.9 million; 10. Kites, $1 million.

UPDATE: Final figures released today (Monday) put the take for Shrek Forever After at $70.84 million, with 7 percent of the gross coming from IMAX screenings. Iron Man 2 collected $26.36 million to place second, followed by Robin Hood with $18.77 million. MacGruber opened in sixth place with $4.04 million.