May 27, 2010 / 4:14 AM / 9 years ago

"Sex" sequel will leave 'Prince of Persia' in dust

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Warner Bros. is hoping its latest Memorial Day holiday tryst with female moviegoers is as satisfying as the one two years ago.

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker arrives for the premiere of the film "Sex And The City 2" in New York May 24, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The studio opens “Sex and the City 2” on Thursday ahead of the four-day U.S. holiday weekend. The original adaptation of corporate sibling HBO’s one-time series launched on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend in 2008 with $57 million en route to a North American total of $152.6 million.

Opening-weekend comparisons will be difficult, with “Sex 2” scooping some box office cream off the top Thursday. But, amid high prerelease interest and advance ticketing, the ensemble romancer should ring up more than $60 million during its first five days.

Unlike some big-screen adaptations of U.S. television shows, “Sex and the City” also was popular overseas, registering foreign sales of $262.6 million. So Warners has scheduled a big simultaneous opening for the sequel this weekend in the U.K. and 19 other territories.

Reconvening the franchise’s gal-pal posse for the R-rated sequel are Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis. Michael Patrick King again directs.

“Sex 2” looks likely to leave another tentpole in the dust. On Friday, Disney debuts the adventure fantasy “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” with tracking data suggesting a four-day bow north of $35 million.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the title role, with Gemma Arterton (“Clash of the Titans”) playing the mysterious princess to his rogue prince. Co-stars in the video game adaptation include Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina.

Disney opened “Persia” in many markets the previous weekend to maximize pre-World Cup playtime, and will add most others this session.

Most notably among this weekend’s domestic holdovers, reigning champ “Shrek Forever After” will seek a solid second weekend after its disappointing bow. The weekend’s extra day should limit the family comedy’s drop, with a 40 percent decline reaping $42 million through Monday and perhaps the session’s silver medal, barring an outsized opening by “Persia.”

Among limited openers, Sony Pictures Classics will bow “Amelie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Micmacs” in two New York locations Friday ahead of a scheduled expansion June 4.

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