"Shrek" laughs its way past two new comedies

Sun Jun 6, 2010 2:50pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The studio behind "Shrek Forever After" had plenty to laugh about as the film beat a pair of comedies at the North American box office to take the No. 1 spot for the third straight weekend, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The animated film's strong staying power and its estimated weekend take of $25.3 million bodes well for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc, which last month saw its share price dip after the movie suffered a lower-than-expected opening.

"Families seem to be the ones really driving the box office and 'Shrek' being a great movie for everyone to see together, that seems to be working very well for 'Shrek,'" said Anne Globe, head of worldwide marketing at DreamWorks.

The raunchy comedy "Get Him to the Greek" from producer Judd Apatow claimed the No. 2 spot with $17.4 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada.

"It's very interesting that Judd Apatow makes very responsibly budgeted films so it bodes well for the overall success in theaters and beyond," said Nikki Rocco, president of domestic distribution for Universal Pictures, the General Electric Co-owned studio that released the film.

"Get Him to the Greek," which cost about $40 million to produce, stars British actor Russell Brand as a brash rock star and Jonah Hill as a record label intern who must get him from London to Los Angeles for a concert date.

The romantic comedy "Killers," which studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp had declined to show for critics to avoid scathing reviews, came in at No. 3 with $16.1 million in the United States and Canada.

The movie, with a budget in the mid-$60 million range, stars Ashton Kutcher as a man with a secret job as a killer, and Katherine Heigl as his unknowing wife.   Continued...

<p>Character 'Shrek' waits during ceremonies to unveil its star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood May 20, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>