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'Shrek': Is it really the final chapter?

May 18, 2010 |  3:02 pm


DreamWorks Animation gave Friday's fourth "Shrek" film almost as many titles as a cat has lives, including "Shrek Goes Fourth" and "Shrek: The Final Chapter" before settling on "Shrek Forever After." The studio is calling it "one 'Shrek' of a finale." But is it really the green ogre's last hurrah?

DreamWorks President Jeffrey Katzenberg acknowledged at the film's Sunday premiere that his animation studio was built by "Shrek," which as a franchise has global box-office revenues in excess of $2.2 billion. While the series' trend is going in the wrong direction--2007's "Shrek the Third" film grossed 15% less than 2004's "Shrek 2"--the prospects for "Shrek Forever After" look enormous.

Opening only against Universal's action spoof "MacGruber" in wide release, the fourth "Shrek" film should play deep into the summer. While at least one analyst says the film could open below expectations, "Shrek Forever After's" overall gross doubtlessly will be boosted by surcharges for 3-D admissions. So assuming (even a bit conservatively) that "Shrek Forever After" grosses about $650 million worldwide, are those the kind of numbers that cause you to throw in the towel?

DreamWorks is developing a sequel with the swashbuckling feline Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), but some people (including two agents with clients involved in the series) are leaving open the possibility of a fifth "Shrek" movie, even as DreamWorks and distributor Paramount Pictures insist it won't happen.   

“I’m hoping the same thing everyone else is—that they’re going to come back in a few years and go, ‘We were just kidding,’ ” said Cameron Diaz, the voice of Princess Fiona in all four films. After Sunday's premiere, she said she was depressed the series was ending. “I’m really sad, actually. I think yesterday we were all kind of going, ‘Is this really it?’ It’s very sad. It’s something that’s been a constant in all of our lives for so long.”

Said director Mike Mitchell: “I'm sure if this does phenomenal that Jeffrey will make another." 

--John Horn and Amy Kaufman

Photo of Shrek and Rumpelstiltskin in "Shrek Forever After": DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures 

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Comments () | Archives (7)

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I think the question studio execs SHOULD be asking is: does anyone really want more Shrek movies after this? Because frankly, neither my children nor I are the slightest bit interested in "Shrek Forever After" (and we've been Shrek fans for years). It's not that they're too old (the eldest is eight), it's that these characters are no longer making an impact, "Shrek the Third" relied too heavily on the existing fanbase's devotion to bother with a story we actually enjoyed, and at this point we'd all rather see something original. Our family loved "How to Train Your Dragon." Dreamworks needs to start crafting more stories that audiences are going to care about, not recycling the same drivel five times over.

Shrek 2 should have been the last. This one looks so bad I can't even watch the incessant previews. Can't wait for the witty pop culture references... NOT.


The first Shrek had something sort of OK about it. I own it on DVD but for reasons about to be given can barely stand the thought of watching it again. The second went horribly wrong – the smug whiny cynicism of its initial two acts murdering traditional fairy tales beaten out for sheer awfulness by the final twenty minutes or so of karaoke mayhem commited on formerly great pop tunes I can now never listen to again.

By the time the 3rd Shrek rolled around the marketing had become so overtly loathsome, even people with jobs at Dreamworks Animation began denying that was where they work. The movie lived down to marketing expecations.

The 4th Shrek would have to have been made by Pixar to even halfways make up for the preceding two. But it wasn't so the best one can hope for is, this one is finally Shrek The Last.

I hope the Shrek Series makes more movies. There's so much that hasn't been covered yet. And so much that they can work with. I do see the potential in this series, unlike the been there-done that material of "American Idol" and "Survivor". There are so many fairytales left for Shrek and his merry gang to cover, that it shouldn't be over yet!

how could people not love the shrek movies? they are so fun. i love mike myers and camerion diaz. you see the first was the all time best, so great. then the second was really good. the third was kinda different but the new one is amazing. this movie has a really good story behind it and i really wish they would make some more. for many years ive been happy and delighted to go see the shrek movies and im a teenager. the movies arent to perverted but they arent to kiddish. they are something the hole family will enjoy to watch. and no one can change my mind on that. its just upsetting that something ive been watching since i was a kid is going to put an end to everything. i beg of them to make more.

Oddly enough, I think Forever After will be the one that holds up the longest. 2 and 3 are hard to watch already because of the dated pop-culture references, but Forever After barely has any.


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