You know things have gotten bad when America would rather see the fourth Shrek movie on its third week of release than four brand spanking new offerings, but the summer doldrums have persisted into June, with Shrek Forever After winning the weekend with $25.3 million, easily outpacing the also-rans. The news still isn’t that great for DreamWorks/Paramount, which hasn’t been reaping the mad profits of Shrek movies past, but weak competition certainly helps the bottom line. Of the new stuff, Get Him To The Greek fared best with $17.4 million for second, a number almost equal to the opening weekend of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the sleeper hit from which it’s spun off. The $16.1 million earned by the Katherine Heigl-Ashton Kutcher stinker Killers could be viewed two ways: As a surprisingly strong showing for a movie hampered by bad buzz (and general lousiness) or a letdown from the normally reliable Heigl, who willed such dreck as 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth into substantial rom-com hits. The news was undeniably dour for Marmaduke, however. Despite laying the groundwork for a big-screen hit with half a century of reliably unfunny newspaper comics, America’s greatest Great Dane hobbled into sixth with $11.3 million. That left the horror movie Splice to slip into eighth with $7.5 million, despite being the only semi-ambitious and accomplished movie a major studio has released the past five weeks.
Nothing much going on in limited release, though it’s worth nothing one dramatic fall: Poor MacGruber, in only its third week, dropped an astonishing 93.9% from the previous week, as it lost 2,369 screens. The 177 theaters that did hold onto it were rewarded with $542 per screen, about $30 higher than Shutter Island, which has been out for 16 weeks and premieres on DVD on Tuesday.