"Sex" less scintillating at box office

Sun May 30, 2010 4:34pm EDT
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by Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Sex" is losing its allure at cinemas.

The glamorous gals of "Sex and the City 2" were overshadowed by a green ogre at the weekend box office in North America on Sunday, as "Shrek Forever After" logged a second round as moviegoers' top pick.

Meanwhile, the new Walt Disney Co adventure fantasy "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" was the No. 1 choice worldwide after coming in at No. 3 in North America and at No. 1 in 41 foreign markets. The weekend haul for the Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle stood at $89.2 million.

Comparisons between the "Shrek" and "Sex" sequels were a little dicey. "Shrek Forever After" earned an estimated $43.3 million in the three days beginning on Friday, while "Sex and the City 2" pulled in $32.1 million over the same period.

But the "Sex" sequel got a head start on the U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend, opening on Thursday instead of the traditional Friday. Thursday sales of $14.2 million took the film's four-day total to $46.3 million -- which the ensemble comedy likely would have earned if it had opened a day later.

Still, the opening for "Sex and the City 2" fell far short of the three-day, $57 million launch for the first film in the series two years ago.

"Yes, I would love to have seen a bigger number, but I'm not concerned until I see how the second weekend plays out," said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at the Time Warner Inc unit.

He predicted the film would earn about $53 million once sales for the Monday holiday were included. Industry forecasters had expected the five-day haul to exceed $60 million.   Continued...

<p>(From L-R) Actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Catrall and Cynthia Nixon pose for photographers at the premiere of their new film "Sex and the City 2" in Leicester Square, London May 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty</p>