Without a 3D boost, Kung Fu Panda made $20.3 million on its first day, while Shrek the Third generated $38.4 million on its first day and went on to break the animated opening weekend record with $121.6 million. Shrek 2's first Friday was also greater than Shrek Forever After, grossing $28.3 million after opening on a Wednesday. The first Shrek bagged $11.6 million on its first day back in 2001.
Should Shrek Forever After follow Shrek the Third's pattern, its opening weekend would come in at over $65 million.
Iron Man 2 was second on Friday with an estimated $7.5 million, down 51 percent from last Friday, and its total rose to $232.1 million in 15 days. The first Iron Man fell 42 percent to $8.7 million on its third Friday, tallying $199.9 million through the same point.
Robin Hood tumbled almost as steeply as Kingdom of Heaven, King Arthur and Troy in its second Friday, off 56 percent to an estimated $5.7 million, increasing its sum to $53.5 million in eight days. Gladiator was down 36 percent on its second Friday.
Also in their second Fridays, Letters to Juliet was off a decent 41 percent to an estimated $3 million, while Just Wright dropped 53 percent to an estimated $1.3 million. Date Night had the best hold among nationwide releases, down 25 percent to an estimated $925,000, and its tally grew to $88.8 million in 43 days.
MacGruber was closer to Delta Farce than Austin Powers among past goofy May action comedies. It debuted to a mere estimated $1.6 million at 2,551 sites on Friday.
How to Train Your Dragon took a hit with the release of DreamWorks Animation stable mate Shrek Forever After claiming most of its 3D screens and family attention. It plummeted 66 percent to an estimated $420,000, and its total stands at $209.5 million in 57 days.
• Weekend Briefing: 'Shrek' Shoots for Happily Ever After
• How to Gain from 'Dragon'
• Daily Grosses for Friday, May 21