It was a Memorial Day holiday made memorable by the fact that the fewest number of movie tickets were sold over its four days since 1993 -- some 23.4 million, according to box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. Total estimated ticket-sales revenue was the lowest since 2001. Movie studios blamed a full slate of sports events, including the NBA playoffs and the Indianapolis 500, for the fall-off. Some analysts blamed inflated ticket prices -- particularly at 3D venues showing Shrek Forever After . Still others blamed the movies themselves -- which by and large received lousy reviews. (Britain's Guardian newspaper commented today "The top movies on offer right now simply aren't entertaining enough. Next weekend's alternatives, led by Marmaduke and Get Him to the Greek , hardly inspire hope.") Many writers, taking notice of the strong advance ticket sales, excited Twitter and Facebook comments, and general buzz thought that Sex And The City 2 would overcome those reviews. It did not. The film opened with $37.1 million for the four-day weekend, some $10-15 million below last week's forecasts, winding up in third place for the holiday. Prince of Persia The Sands of Time , with a princely budget of around $200 million, opened with $37.8 million, which ordinarily would have been regarded as an outright disaster for a film coSting so much, if it wasn't for the fact that the movie performed quite respectably overseas, where it took in $59 million in its second week, to bring its foreign tally to $87.5 million. Robin Hood , which also had a soft debut in North America, continues to perform relatively well abroad, where its total now stands at $154.6 million.

01/06/2010