Shrek Fail

Shrek Forever After

How could Shrek Forever After debut with an actual take of $70.8 million over the weekend, and still be considered a flop? An analysis of its performance can be found at Box Office Guru. According to that site, if the latest Shrek continues at its current trajectory, it may end up grossing less than How to Train Your Dragon.

UPDATE: DreamWorks’ head of worldwide marketing, Anne Globe, said the film’s North American debut “was on the low end for a Shrek film. But we’re very optimistic that it’s on its way to becoming a worldwide hit.” According to the LA Times, the more expensive ticket prices of 3-D and IMAX mask the real story: the audience for Shrek Forever After was less than half of its predecessor.

UPDATE #2: Following Shrek’s weaker-than-expected opening, DreamWorks stock took a pounding on Monday and lost 11% of its value to close at $31.05. Since the opening of How to Train Your Dragon in March, DreamWorks stock has plunged 27.5%. Read more about the company’s recent financial performance at MarketWatch.


  • http://www.jeffsimonetta.com Jeffrey Simonetta

    It may end up earning less that 430 million? That IS a flop….

  • Robert Fiore

    What this brings to mind is how people were saying Dragon was a flop based on it’s first weekend. You might also keep in mind that the last Shrek movie pulled in far more in foreign box office than it did in the US, and no picture of the results will be accurate until you figure that in.

  • http://[email protected] Chuck R.

    I just looked at some statistics on Box Office Mojo. It looks like “How To Train Your Dragon” came in at 9th place this weekend, and made almost 2 million. That may not seem like a big deal, but that’s about half the gross of it’s opening weekend —two months ago!
    These vikings got legs!

  • http://www.pres-aid.com Kevin

    “if the latest Shrek continues at its current trajectory…”

    Shrek 4 has no trajectory right now. There is only an estimate of a single weekend box office. After the second weekend, and especially after the third, we can start talking about ‘trajectory.’ But one datum point does not a trajectory make.

  • erlab

    The weekend IS NOT OVER YET!

    Be patient.

    And tell that to Box Office Mojo too!

  • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John Sanford

    “Shrek Fail”
    Oh Amid. How long did it take for you to come up with THAT one?
    $71.3 a flop?
    It will be just fine. It is the best of the series, and an overall fun entertaining film. It will find it’s legs.
    With a title like “Shrek Fail”, do you really wonder WHY I think you are biased?

  • floyd pendershaft

    When was the last time an animation studio had two CGI films in the top 10? That in itself is impressive in my opinion. Has Disney/Pixar ever accomplished this? Just curious.

  • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John Sanford

    Answer to Floyd’s question: NO.

  • Bob

    Floyd, the only reason Pixar hasn’t done it is because Pixar hasn’t released two films so close to each other.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com FloydBishop

    How is this failure again?

  • bob

    If pixar released Cars 2 in-between the release dates of Dragon and shrek 4 it would be beating them both, in turn making both movies a flop. The only reason these films are doing well because there is nothing else to see. If you think otherwise just look at your local movie listings.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    But… each opening weekend box office result is mostly a reflection on the quality of the PREVIOUS film. Of course this opening weekend would be lower because Shrek 3 was the worst one.

  • doop

    Really? REALLY??

    70 f**king million dollars in it’s opening weekend is a FAILURE? Really? Are you ****ing me??

  • Paul K.

    Hey guys “Dewey Defeats Truman!”

  • David.Seth

    you know, Avatar made about 77 million on its opening weekend, and we all know that movie was a commercial failure… Jeez, lets wait until Shrek has been out for at least two weeks until we start telling tails of its impending doom.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    These reactions to movie openings approach the hair-trigger hysteria surrounding the stock market. It’s tiring.

  • http://jessieforer.blogspot.com/ Firefly

    did you ever stop to consider these films are making money because they’re GOOD films? dreamworks or not?

  • Bob

    Shrek Forever After isn’t a flop. What’s throwing a lot of folks is the fact it opened much lower than the other sequels. But it’ll probably do fine in the weeks leading up to Toy Story 3.

  • hannah

    @firefly

    considering i thought shrek 3 to be garbage, NO

  • http://marcosgp.blogspot.com/ Mark

    Shrek 3 almost made me walk out of the Theater for the first time… This new Shrek is the confirmation that Dreamworks is going in the right direction. Great movie!

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    With ticket prices going up the way they are and attendance going down, I see a future where an opening weekend box office total will consist of one $70 million dollar ticket sold.

    Or $70,000,004 if it was a 3D movie.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    Um, this ain’t Avatar. I stopped after being coerced into seeing Shrek 2, which I thought was about as funny as an average episode of Friends.

    My hope that this movie does flop is tied to my hope for more original movies.

  • Nichole

    All I know is I saw it and I liked it. I’d actually watch it again. It was a vast improvement over the third movie. I think people are hesitant to see it because the third wasn’t very good. I myself wasn’t going to see it at first, but decided to see it afterall.

  • Isaac

    This isn’t a story. The box office earnings will be forgotten in a week from now. It will be another kids movie sequel that existed solely to milk the franchise.

  • http://www.fleabeemedia.com/ The Flea

    Let’s face it, 3 Shreks is enough. . . and that was ALREADY too many. Sometimes people CAN get sick of certain franchises.

  • John Tebbel

    No, $70 Million ain’t hay, and is as much of a plebiscite on the previous installment as a reaction to the current picture (see Firefly/Hannah above). It certainly represents enough bodies to get the word of mouth going if it merits same.

    Seen against the universe of all the merchandise, etc. a franchise player like Shrek is supposed to move, it is a bump on the road. You want unbridled enthusiasm, smashed estimates, that sort of thing.

  • Dave O.

    Meanwhile on the other end of the Dreamworks Animation scale, according to Box Office Mojo…

    “With close to $209 million through its eighth week, How to Train Your Dragon has grossed nearly five times what it did on its opening weekend, which is the biggest multiplier of any 2010 nationwide release thus far and, among major animated releases, the biggest multiplier since Finding Nemo.”

    Disney letting talent like “Dragon” directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois just slip through their fingers will go down as a huge blunder.

  • http://chuck@chuckrekow.c[email protected] Chuck R.

    “Disney letting talent like “Dragon” directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois just slip through their fingers will go down as a huge blunder.”

    Maybe and maybe not. For better or worse, Disney has a house style and a reputation for kid-safe entertainment. I love watching Lilo and Stitch with my kids, but I’ve met Disneyphiles who were very put-off by it. Disney just needs to find fresh ways to tell their kind of stories.

    Like a lot of fans, I got my undies in a knot over Chris Sanders’ departure, but now it’s pretty obvious Sanders has landed where he belongs. Dreamworks is better for it, and the industry is better for it. As soon as Disney gets in full competitive mode, they’ll be better for it too.

  • http://spitandspite.com abe

    Yeah, Shrek 3 was so terrible it’s pretty much made me ignore this one. On the upside, I have seen Dragon twice

  • http://MrFunsBlog Floyd Norman

    Okay, this is the “third Floyd” to post on this topic.

    I hope animation continues to “flop” like this. At least DreamWorks will be able to pay the rent and keep the lights on.

  • Austin Papageorge

    It is disappointing for Dreamworks if you consider that Shrek 3 grossed over $120 Million on its opening weekend.

  • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John S

    ” For better or worse, Disney has a house style and a reputation for kid-safe entertainment. I love watching Lilo and Stitch with my kids, but I’ve met Disneyphiles who were very put-off by it. Disney just needs to find fresh ways to tell their kind of stories.”

    This might be the problem, trying to appeal to “Disneyphiles”. Ugh.
    Disney films are playing to an ever shrinking room if this is the audience they are shilling for.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I don’t see why Lilo and Stitch is “wrong” for those ‘Disneyphiles’. I thought it was more similar in spirit to ‘Dumbo’ or ‘Pinnochio’ than most Disney movies from the 90s.

  • Grayson Ponti

    The reason that animated films are becoming so easy to be called “flops” these days is that the budgets are too high and money is now an expectation, not an award for a good film. Many of my favorite cartoons were made for low budgets and I think this makes it have a good artistic texture.

  • SchmuleyG

    maybe a ‘fail’ for a Shrek movie, but still better than any Dsiney or Pixar film. Seems like expectations were too high and it will still end up a winner. Amid needs to calm his gloating down and act like the animation historian he would like everyone to think him

  • Someone

    I hope this one is a flop. Dreamworks has whole floors of people who’ve done nothing but work on Shrek films for their entire careers. It’s time they branched out.

    I saw “How to Train Your Dragon” three times. It had everything, heart, excitement, solid story, likable characters, including animal characters who didn’t need to talk to tell you what they were thinking, and humor that did NOT depend on instantly-dated pop culture references. Even the voice-actors seemed actually cast for their VOICES and not for their celebrity novelty. If I didn’t know, I would have never guessed it was a Dreamworks movie.

    Shrek’s moment has passed.

  • Scarabim

    Seriously, who does the character designs for Dreamworks films? Who? I want names and credentials. And then I want an explanation as to WHY such designs, which probably looked just as bad on paper, get rendered into such stomach-turning ugliness and then get the green light to assault the eyes of innocent moviegoers on the big screen?

    AND NOW IN 3D!

    I mean, LOOK at Rumpelstiltskin in that picture! Look at it!

    WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT???

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    Has it ever occurred to these analysts that not everyone looks forward to a stupid ogre movie every three years? That there are OTHER movies people would rather see this time around?

    DreamWorks will live beyond Shrek. But I’d rather they learn not to get carried away with success, as they’re already planning a Dragon sequel.

  • http://drgrantz.deviantart.com/ revned

    Scarabim pretty much stole my thunder, but I totally agree.
    Disclaimer: I’ve hated Shrek since the first one (which has been on various HBOs nonstop for the past few weeks… coincidence?) so the 4th one was never on my viewing list. It sickens me to think that the second one is the highest-grossing animated film of all time… at least that’s what I saw in USA Today.

    What puzzles me is that DreamWorks stock has been falling despite having a popular movie (and for now, two) playing in theatres. How does that happen?

  • http://www.pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    History has shown that (GENERALLY SPEAKING) with each sequel, the property earns less money. It quickly becomes a case of diminishing returns.

  • Rene Ramos

    Shrek 3 was so bad, my girlfriend and I went to see it and we broke up that night after 2 years. The vibe was just nasty. And the fact that Shrek babies were so ugly, and my ex kind of looked like Fiona.

  • Blake

    Three things:

    First: – I’ve worked in the industry for 8 years now at several of the major studios in both Feature and TV, and I’m really tired of all this negativity. Sure, it’s one thing to dislike a film or Tv show, that’s life, but to spread negativity upon everyone who worked on a film/show you didn’t like?? Really is this what we’ve come too?? This website and it’s readers not only depress me, but makes me wonder if people here really have any class at all

    Second – “Someone” Do you work in the animation industry? In fact…do you have a job at all? Why would you root for something to fail? Would you like all the people who worked on this film to loose their jobs, not be able to support their families, and go bag groceries or work at a Best Buy to try and make ends meet? Seriously, I understand people not enjoying a film, but rooting for failure is just bad Karma.

    Third – “Scarabim” why don’t you publish your first and last name with this completely disrespectful comment about the character designers. Again, do you work in the industry? Do you know how things work? At every large studio amazing artists give their all for a film, and in the end, if a director or producer likes something the artist doesn’t, who do you think gets their way?? Seriously, please post your first and last name so that all the designers in the industry can know who is bagging on them, and then we will all have a name to place with this great reputation you’re creating for yourself.

  • Floyd Youmans

    Fourth Floyd here, former Expos pitcher Floyd Youmans.
    I like the Floyd attitude so I’m suiting up to join ‘em on the Cartoon Brew comments threads.
    I take no pleasure in seeing any movie flop, even if I don’t care for it personally. This is our industry! There are people who really love predictable plots and pop culture references because it makes them feel safe, and their money makes me feel safe. Surely we can work something out.
    Go Floyds!

  • http://www.bobrob.blogspot.com Bob Hilgenberg

    Blake, it’s nice to have someone like you in the industry. Your perspective is not only appreciated, it’s desperately needed. There are a LOT of extremely talented, hard working people in this business…I’m blown away by the work I see on a daily basis.

    As a writer I’m quite impressed with films like ‘Shrek Forever After’, that deliver on the premise and then some!

    What a fun, cool film. It will be interesting to see if it pops out the kind of cash that most people working in animation hope it will. :)

  • Sylvain

    71 millions opening is more than any animated films in history except shrek 2 and 3, and it’s a failure ? I don’t see the logic.

    Why do you mention the stock as an indicator ? Look at the Disney stock in the lat 30 days, it plunged much more than 11% (37.98 to about 32) with nothing really happening. It’s the worldwide market that plunged, you dimwits.

    I do hope ‘Dragon will make more than either Shrek 4 or Toy Story 3, but I’m probably dreaming. The public is stupid, and the success of a film is proportional to the appreciation of the previous one, multiplied by the familiarity factor. The marketing guys and the animation industry’s circles of friends are the real geniuses of our industry.

    Manipulative bastards.

  • floyd pendershaft

    Why does Wall Street see Shrek as a failure? It’s GREED! Wall Street always wants and expects more. They only understand cash and rising stock portfolios. If you don’t make twice as much as you did last year your considered a failure. I’m the fifth Floyd to post (but I posted once before).

    GO FLOYDS!!!!

  • Brody

    What is with the creepy proliferation of Dreamworks apologists and shills in these comment threads? Don’t you marketing guys have other blogs you could spam?

  • Sylvain

    Yay! I’m glad the moderators are allowing us to call each other shills and spammers. Gotta love the irony.