Shrek Forever After held on to its box-office crown for the second week in a row, dropping a modest 40 percent to an estimated $43.3 million and beating the favored-to-win Sex And The City 2 , which placed second with 37.7 million. Prince of Persia The Sands of Time , meanwhile, opened with about $30.1 million for third place. Sex got a headstart on its rivals, opening on Thursday instead of Friday. If Thursday's $14.2-million take had been included in the weekend grosses, its total would have come to 51.9 million. The surprise was not so much that Shrek had performed so well but that Sex and Persia had performed so lifelessly. Following its HBO run, the 2008 theatrical reworking of Sex and the City earned $57 million in its first three days, well above predictions. On Sunday, Warner Bros. said that it expects Sex 2 to wind up with about $53 million for the entire five-day holiday, coming in at about $10-15 million below most forecasts. Warner Bros. said that women made up 90 percent of the audience. While Persia took off overseas, where it was the top attraction, it barely got off the ground domestically. It, too, took in about $10-15 million less than predicted. Overall, the box office was down about 20 percent from a year ago, with some analysts suggeSting that the total was likely to fall to the lowest level for a Memorial Day weekend in nearly a decade.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Shrek Forever After , $43.35 million; 2. Sex and the City 2 , $32.13 million; 3. Prince of Persia The Sands of Time , $30.17 million; 4. Iron Man 2 , $16.04 million; 5. Robin Hood , $10.31 million; 6. Letters to Juliet , $5.9 million; 7. Just Wright , $2.2 million; 8. Date Night , $1.75 million; 9. MacGruber , $1.48 million; 10. How to Train Your Dragon , $1.03 million.
UPDATE There was no joy for Sex at the box office on Sunday and Monday. Five-day estimates indicated today (Monday) that the Warner Bros. movie fell to third place with a total of $37.15 for the Friday-through-Monday period and $51.35 million with Thursday's receipts. After opening with $14.21 million on Thursday and $12.99 million on Friday, the movie slid to 10.06 million on Saturday, then to $8.1 million on Sunday. It was expected to earn just $6 million today (Monday). On the other hand, Shrek Forever After pulled in $55.73 million for the four days, to bring its total after two weekends to $145.48 million. The opening of Disney's Prince of Persia The Sands of Time took over second place with an estimated $37.78 million for the four-day holiday. Overall, the top 12 films at the box office brought in $182.22 million, down 14.76 percent from last year's top 12 for the four-day Memorial Day weekend, which came a week earlier.