‘Shrek’ adds green to German B.O.

'Third' posts year's third best opening

BERLIN — “Shrek the Third” enjoyed a muscular bow in Germany, with the third best opening of the year after “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Spider-Man 3.”

While the pic’s strong bow helped boost the local box office by more than 50%, its $7.8 million opening gross from 861 was below that of “Shrek 2,” which raked in $9.8 million in its first weekend in July 2004.

Local exhibs are predicting long legs for “Shrek the Third,” however, pointing out that it’s a perfect family film.

“Parents love taking their kids to the ‘Shrek’ films because they know they will enjoy them too,” noted one booker. ” ‘Shrek the Third’ is also attracting plenty of young adults, as it’s a film that also speaks to mature audiences. It’s really become a cult film franchise.”

Exhib predicted the pic would come close to the $37.5 million grossed by “Shrek 2,” outdistancing “Spider-Man 3,” which has so far cumed $29 million here. However, it’s unlikely to equal the box office booty amassed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: “At World’s End,” which, currently at No. 3, is still attracting sizable auds; “Pirates” added $1.9 million for a total of $52.7 million.

Holding on to No. 2 was “Ocean’s Thirteen,” which managed $2.2 million in its third frame on its way to a $10.8 million cume.

While the three Hollywood tentpoles gobbled up most of the box office pie, Universal’s British laffer “Hot Fuzz” and X Verleih’s comedy-drama “Irina Palm” continued to generate good box office business.

“Hot Fuzz” dropped 40% to $460,703 on its way to a $1.4 million cume, while “Irina Palm” dropped only 24% to $359,874 for a total of $984,480.

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