Release Date: May 21 (in 3D and conventional theaters) Studio: Dreamworks Genre: Animation Director: Mike Mitchell Writer: Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke Cast:Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake, Jon Hamm, Amy Sedaris, Maya Rudolph, Craig Robinson, Eric Idle Studio Description: A bored and domesticated Shrek (Myers) pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he's duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away—where Rumpelstiltskin is king, ogres are hunted, and he and Fiona (Diaz) have never met—he sets out to restore his world and reclaim his true love. • Watch the Trailer
Analysis: The first Shrek movie turned in to a monster hit in the summer of 2001, grossing $267.7 million and establishing DreamWorks Animation as the anti-Disney/Pixar. Three years later, Shrek 2 became the highest-grossing animated movie of all-time, banking over $440 million. Since then, DreamWorks has cranked out a steady stream of popular releases, including Shark Tale ($160.9 million), Madagascar ($193.6 million), Over the Hedge ($155 million), Kung Fu Panda ($215.4 million) and, of course, Shrek the Third ($322.7 million). This May sees the release of Shrek Forever After, the fourth and reportedly final chapter in the Shrek series.
While Shrek remains a strong brand, there was a noticeable drop of nearly $120 million from Shrek 2 to Shrek the Third. This can be attributed to Shrek 2's unusually high grosses, that rode on the wave of good will from the first movie and the introduction of Puss 'n' Boots, and to a growing dissatisfaction with the series (Shrek received a "B+" from Box Office Mojo users, while Shrek 2 scored a "B" and Shrek the Third a "B-"). In an effort to counteract this, DreamWorks will present Shrek Forever After in 3D, following the trend of recent 3D animated hits Monsters Vs. Aliens ($198.4 million), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($196.6 million) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ($124.8 million).
Despite the audience erosion, Shrek the Third was still a big hit, especially overseas where it brought in over $476 million, or 59 percent of its worldwide tally, up from Shrek 2's 52 percent share and Shrek's 45 percent. This has been a noticeable trend among animated sequels in recent years, with Ice Age being the most extreme case: the first Ice Age's foreign share was 54 percent and that rose to 77 percent for the third movie, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. If Shrek Forever After follows this trend, it could make up for any domestic dip overseas.