Paramount/DWA's "Shrek Forever After" looks to keep the venerable franchise’s perfect track record alive with another number one debut and impressive numbers for sure. Some very huge green shoes to fill with "Shrek 2" holding the record for highest grossing animated film of all-time ($436.7 million domestically) and "Shrek the Third" owning the title for biggest animated opening weekend and sixth highest grossing opening weekend ever with a Shrek-sized $121.6 million. A very daunting past indeed that hopefully this latest "Shrek" can live up to while holding its own with both IMAX and 3-D enhanced grosses. As always expectations often become overblown when a film has a box office track record of this impressive magnitude however, "Shrek Forever After" should deliver solid family-generated numbers this weekend and ultimately become one of the biggest movies of the summer. The 4,359 theater debut is the fourth biggest number of opening theaters ever!
Also opening is the SNL sketch turned big screen movie "MacGruber" from Universal starring Will Forte as a bumbling cross between TV's MacGyver and inspector Clouseau and also starring one of the best comedians working today, Kristen Wiig as sidekick Vicki St. Elmo. The film is the first big comedy of the Summer and certainly received a major boost from MacGruber's multiple (and funny) appearances on the hugely popular Betty White edition of Saturday Night Live. Much as Summit's "Letters to Juliet" filled a void by offering a very non-summer style light romance, "MacGruber" will give audiences a chance to get their laugh on in the face of heavier fare and the many family-friendly options in the marketplace.
Summer continues to be a roller-coaster of ups and downs both thematically and at the box office as we wind our way toward the all-important and tone-setting Memorial Weekend (which falls a week later this year) that boasts two major titles with Warner Bros.' "Sex and the City 2" and Disney's "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" hitting theatres and pitting the male audience vs. female audience in a box office grudge match.