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'Shrek 2' Set to Reach Record Number of Theaters


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#1 no0ne

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 02:33 AM

'Shrek 2' Set to Reach Record Number of Theaters

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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Computer-animated "Shrek 2" will play in a record 4,163 theaters domestically this weekend, marking the first time a film has surpassed the 4,000-theater mark in its debut, studio DreamWorks said on Thursday.


The feature, in which the green ogre Shrek and his sidekick Donkey send up Hollywood and its obsession with body image, debuted on Wednesday this week to a one-day box office haul of $11.8 million, a record for an animated movie.


Given a theater count surpassing the previous domestic record held by last year's "X2: X-Men United," the sequel to 2001 smash hit "Shrek" looks to rake in cash at U.S. and Canadian box offices.


"This is unprecedented ... I've never seen a movie open in that many theaters," said Paul Dergarabedian, president Exhibitor Relations Inc.


DreamWorks' head of distribution Jim Tharp said the number of theaters showing the film had been raised from just over 3,700 on Wednesday as more theaters were able to open screens for the release.


Dergarabedian declined to predict just how big a success "Shrek 2" might be, but said $50 million in ticket sales for the three-day weekend "would not be out of the question."


If so, that would top last week's final $46.8 million for Trojan War epic "Troy," and be competitive with the $54 million first weekend haul for the previous week's vampire killer movie "Van Helsing." Those two films have been Hollywood's first major releases of the summer box office season.


The summer is the main movie-going period for the major film studios in the United States and the season, which begins in early May and lasts through the Labor Day holiday in early September, accounts for as much as 40 percent of the year's total ticket sales.


The first "Shrek" in 2001 took in $267 million at North American box offices and a total of around $455 million worldwide. Privately held DreamWorks has high hopes the sequel, which has earned solid reviews, can perform at least as well. The first day's ticket sales were a good indication it would.


"This was a spectacular opening and one that exceeded all of our expectations," DreamWorks head of distribution Jim Tharp said in a statement.


The previous best one-day debut at midweek by an animated movie was "Pokemon The First Movie," a Warner Bros. title that opened in 1999 on a Wednesday to $10.1 million at domestic box offices, according to Exhibitor Relations.

http://story.news.ya...eisure_shrek_dc