The box office performed pretty much the way most forecasters had predicted -- that is, pitifully. Shrek Forever After led the field for the third consecutive week as the box office dropped 28 percent from the comparable weekend a year ago. Although four other movies debuted over the weekend, Shrek , with $25.3 million, came out ahead largely by default. (The third weekend of all three previous Shrek movies earned more.) Results for its competition seemed to confirm that there simply was not all that much on the marquees to capture the interest of moviegoers. The No. 2 film was the debuting Get Him to the Greek , with $17.4 million -- about average for a Judd Apatow-produced off-color comedy. Third place went to Lionsgate's romantic thriller Killers , starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, which ended up with an anemic $16.1 million. Another newcomer, Marmaduke, may have left studio executives whimpering and whining as it produced just $11.3 million to come in sixth. The fourth entrant, Warner Bros.' horror flick Splice, which tried to make a transition from festival and TV screenings to major theater venues, ended up earning just $7.5 million. Last weekend's top films, Sex And The City 2 and Prince of Persia The Sands of Time collapsed in their second weekend. Prince finished in fourth place with $13.9 million, down 54 percent from last weekend. Sex dropped to fifth pace with $12.7 million, down 59 percent. Analysts are hedging their bets about next weekend, which will see the debut of remakes of the movie and TV series, The Karate Kid and The A-Team . Ordinarily those films would be expected to reach a wide audience. But, given the light turnout over the last two weekends, they, too, could wind up keeping house with Marmaduke.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Shrek Forever After, $25.3 million; 2. Get Him to the Greek, $17.4 million; 3. Killers , $16.1 million; 4. Prince of Persia The Sands of Time , $13.9 million; 5. Sex and the City 2 , $12.7 million; 6. Marmaduke , $11.3 million; 7. Iron Man 2 , $7.8 million; 8. Splice , $7.5 million; 9. Robin Hood , $5.1 million; 10. Letters to Juliet , $3 million.

07/06/2010