Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

May 24, 2010

That...is going to leave a mark.

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Perhaps the apt title would have been Shrek: The End

Kim Hollis: Shrek Forever After almost came within $50 million of matching the opening weekend of its predecessor, Shrek the Third. Do you believe a $70.8 million opener can ever be a failure, and is this it? Why or why not?

Daron Aldridge: Kim, yes and I think your intro statement explains why. This one opens with only 58% of Shrek the Third's debut. I don't think there is anyway to describe this other than as a complete and utter disappointment. I look forward to mocking DreamWorks for trying to spin this any other way. "No comment" would be their best course of action.

Tom Houseman: No, it's not the number that DreamWorks wanted, but it can't be considered a failure. It's already made almost half its production budget. It has two more weeks of having the kids to itself before Karate Kid hits theaters, and then a week later the juggernaut that is Toy Story 3 takes over. By then Shrek 4 will have certainly made back its production costs, especially as next weekend is a holiday. And I haven't even started talking about foreign receipts, DVD sales and rentals, and countless marketing tie-ins. Is Shrek 4 going to be a hit? No, but it's definitely going to make money. There's no way DreamWorks is crying about this number, even if they are grumbling a little.




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Josh Spiegel: As long as we all agree that $70 million is a huge number by itself, then, yeah, this is a failure. When How to Train Your Dragon made just under $45 million in its opening weekend with 3-D prices, people were a little taken aback. When Shrek, a movie character who is just about iconic at this stage, makes $25 million more, it's a failure, because it should make a lot more. The fact that 3-D didn't help this movie (and Shrek The Third, unless I'm wrong, didn't have 3-D in its favor) makes the result a bust. It's worth pointing out that one of the reasons the movie could have done so middlingly is that the marketing was very weak. What's the story? Why is Shrek meeting Donkey again? And why am I not seeing tons of ads for this movie everywhere? I've seen more ads for Inception (which opens in eight weeks) than I have for this movie, and that's within the last week.

Matthew Huntley: Josh, I actually noticed a ton of marketing for this movie, but I would still label it "weak," only for a different reason. All over town I saw billboards and posters gracing poorly written taglines, including "What the Shrek happened?" and "It ain't ogre...till it's ogre." Really? How could DreamWorks' marketing machine not expect people to roll their eyes at this, and at the movie itself, which is lackluster and banal compared to the original?

Regarding Kim's post: Yes, this seems like an unequivocal failure, both in terms of summer blockbuster standards and Shrek standards. The bright side is that it will (probably) still top $200 million domestically, and with international numbers still to come, prove to be another profitable venture for the studio. At least DreamWorks now knows this series has indeed run out of gas and it's time for Shrek and pals to retire.


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