"Shrek Forever After" is finishing its domestic box office run as the worst-performing movie about the titular surly green ogre, but it may just be getting warmed up overseas.
The fourth and final film in DreamWorks Animation's 9-year-old series dropped 73% this weekend and grossed just $1.3 million from Friday through Monday, essentially putting a cap in its domestic run at less than $240 million. The original "Shrek" grossed $268 million, while the second did $441 million and the third $323 million.
However, "Shrek Forever After" had very strong openings in several key foreign markets this weekend, suggesting that its foreign fate will be much different. In France it had the biggest opening for a DreamWorks film, slightly ahead of "Shrek the Third," with $11.7 million. In Great Britain it took in a healthy $13.1 million and it also had good starts in South Korea, Hong Kong and Austria. The movie struggled a bit only in Germany, where audiences were entranced by their soccer team's World Cup quarter-final match Saturday.
In total, "Shrek Forever After" collected $41 million in 35 foreign territories this weekend. Combined with a hugely successful run in May and June in Russia and ticket sales from other smaller countries, its foreign total so far is $135.5 million.
Though it has a steep hill to climb to hit the $479 million and $476 million international grosses of the last two "Shrek" movies, "Forever After" still has a shot, particularly with potentially lucrative markets such as Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain left to launch. It's virtually certain to far exceed the $217 million total foreign take of the original "Shrek."
— Ben Fritz