Weekend Box Office Predictions 5/21

Posted May 21st, 2010 at 6:28 am

With Iron Man 2 having unofficially kicked-off the summer movie season two weeks ago the next blockbuster arrives in theaters  with the final chapter to the Shrek series (and in 3D). The other new release is the SNL skit adaptation MacGruber.

All the important pieces are back for the final Shrek film and with higher ticket prices due to 3D screenings it is primed for a huge opening. While this will be the last Shrek there are plans for spin-offs for some characters despite getting some closure. Shrek The Third opened to a massive $121 million in 2007 and with increased prices some might think this iteration would exceed that total. That doesn’t seem to be likely though.

The general sense is that the Shrek name has lost some of its luster. With Shrek the Third having been received poorly the name was tarnished. Still it is a well-known commodity which tends to put family audiences at ease. How to Train Your Dragon is over two months old and finally losing steam so a new family-friendly option will bring audiences back out. Reviews have been mixed/leaning poor however that isn’t likely to affect ticket sales much all things considered. Everyone pretty much knows what to expect. Shrek Forever After could see an opening around $98 million.

MacGruber is the next in the line of Saturday Night Live skits to turn into feature films, and has surprisingly rolled up some positive word of mouth and good reviews. What seems to be surprising those who see it is the R rated nature with the movie going beyond what audiences would expect. Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at 82% which is excellent for a movie of this kind however more reviews have to flow in before a consensus can be discovered.

Despite all this the advertising hasn’t been compelling. Commercials and trailers not generating laughs and the MacGruber skit does not have a big following. This is just another example of an R rated comedy that has marketing struggles as it is difficult to get across the true nature of the film when constricted for all audiences. MacGruber could take in about $11 million this weekend. Considering the movie was made on a budget of just $10 million that wouldn’t be too disappointing.

Opening Predictions
Shrek Forever After: $98 million
MacGruber: $11 million