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Opening day: 'Sex' and 'Shrek' looking good while 'Persia' struggles

May 29, 2010 | 10:52 am

SexyCity Friday's box office results saw "Sex and the City 2" and "Shrek Forever After" both headed for solid if not sensational Memorial Day weekend performances, while "Prince of Persia" is on track for a weak third place.

"Sex and the City 2," co-financed by Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow Pictures, sold $13 million worth of tickets Friday in the U.S. and Canada. Combined with the $14.2 million it collected Thursday, its first day in theaters, the second movie based on the long-running HBO comedy is now at $27.2 million. By Monday, it is expected to end up with receipts of around $60 million.

While that's healthy for a movie that cost a little less than $100 million to produce, it's not as good as the original "Sex and the City" in 2008, which opened to $57 million on a three-day weekend.

"Shrek Forever After" grossed $11.3 million Friday, according to an estimate from a rival studio, but will likely end up in first place for the weekend as family films tend to beat competitors in Saturday and Sunday matinees. It should end up with about $55 million for the four-day weekend, a solid performance after its disappointing $70.8-million opening.

"Prince of Persia" is looking like a big budget bust for Walt Disney Studios. The $200-million blockbuster starring Jake Gyllenhaal took in $10.4 million Friday, according to a rival studio, and should end up with between $35 million and $40 million by Monday, a weak start for such an expensive and heavily hyped picture.

Full Memorial Day weekend box office figures will be reported by Company Town on Monday morning.

--Ben Fritz

Photo: Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kristin Davis in "Sex and the City 2." Credit: Craig Blankenhorn / New Line Cinema.