Forbes is predicting a lower opening for Shrek Forever After than its predecessor Shrek the Third even with the addition of IMAX and digital 3D screens.
This weekend the Shrek series will start its last lap with the premiere of Shrek Forever After, the fourth and final installment in the successful franchise about a cranky ogre.
Exhibitor Relations predicts the DreamWorks Animation ( DWA – news – people ) film will bring in $114 million at the U.S. box office. That’s $8 million less than Shrek the Third earned when it opened in May 2007.
That difference normally wouldn’t be such a big deal but Shrek Forever After is opening in 3-D at a time when there are more 3-D screens than ever. (It will show on roughly 2,400 3-D screens, including IMAX.) Theater owners can charge an extra $3 per ticket for 3-D showings and even more for 3-D IMAX screens. According to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, at least one theater in New York City will be charging $20 per ticket for IMAX 3-D.
The lower opening forecast is likely due to Shrek fatigue and backlash from Shrek the Third, which, although it earned $800 million at the global box office, was the worst reviewed of the first three Shrek films, rating a 58 out of 100 on Metacritic. (The new film is also getting mediocre reviews, with a score of 56 on Metacritic.)