'Shrek the Third' tops US box office, sets new record
May 21, 2007 - 10:36:00 AM

Los Angeles, May 21 - DreamWorks Animation's 'Shrek the Third' debuted at the number-one spot at the US box office this weekend, raking in some $122 million over the three-day period and setting a new opening record for an animated film.

According to preliminary figures released Sunday, the latest adventure of the green ogre broke the previous record of $108 million taken by 'Shrek 2' in its first weekend on release three years ago. 'Shrek 2' has been the highest-grossing animated film of all time with $436.7 million in total ticket sales in North America.

Meanwhile, the latest Shrek film also posted the third-biggest opening weekend of all time, following Sony's 'Spider-Man 3' and Disney's 'Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest', which respectively took $151.1 million and $135.6 million at the box office in their first weekends, said the Los Angeles-based box office tracker Media by Numbers.

After 'Spider-Man 3,' released just three weekends ago, 'Shrek the Third' was the second movie this month to take at least $100 million, while the third such movie will hit theatres later this week when 'Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End' debuts.

Industry observers said Hollywood was presenting the biggest summer season in its history, as the box office has never seen three 100-million-dollar-plus openers in the same summer, let alone in the same month.

'Spider-Man 3', after ruling the box office for two weeks, slipped to second place at box office with $28.5 million over the weekend. It has grossed $281.9 million in North America and $747 million worldwide since its release earlier this month.

Fox Atomic's sci-fi horror sequel '28 Weeks Later' slipped one spot to third place with an estimated $5.2 million, while Paramount thriller 'Disturbia' and Universal's family comedy 'Georgia Rule' remained in fourth and fifth place respectively with takings of $3.7 million and $3.5 million.

The dozen highest-grossing films in North America this weekend raked in a total of $172.9 million, a 12 percent increase over the same weekend a year ago, when 'The Da Vinci Code' opened.

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