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Shrek the Third smashes box office records

DreamWorks Animation's Shrek the Third debuted at the number-one spot at the US box office, raking in $122 million over a three-day period.

entertainment Updated: May 22, 2007 19:08 IST

DreamWorks Animation's Shrek the Third debuted at the number-one spot at the US box office this weekend, raking in some $122 million over the three-day period and setting a new opening record for an animated film.

According to preliminary figures released Sunday, the latest adventure of the green ogre broke the previous record of $108 million taken by Shrek 2 in its first weekend on release three years ago. Shrek 2 has been the highest-grossing animated film of all time with $436.7 million in total ticket sales in North America.

Meanwhile, the latest Shrek film also posted the third-biggest opening weekend of all time, following Sony's Spider-Man 3 and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest, which respectively took $151.1 million and $135.6 million at the box office in their first weekends, said the Los Angeles-based box office tracker Media by Numbers.

After Spider-Man 3 released just three weekends ago, Shrek the Third was the second movie this month to take at least $100 million, while the third such movie will hit theatres later this week when Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End debuts.

<b1>Industry observers said Hollywood was presenting the biggest summer season in its history, as the box office has never seen three 100-million-dollar-plus openers in the same summer, let alone in the same month.

Spider-Man 3, after ruling the box office for two weeks, slipped to second place at box office with $28.5 million over the weekend. It has grossed $281.9 million in North America and $747 million worldwide since its release earlier this month.

Fox Atomic's sci-fi horror sequel 28 Weeks Later slipped one spot to third place with an estimated $5.2 million, while Paramount thriller Disturbia and Universal's family comedy

Georgia Rule remained in fourth and fifth place respectively with takings of $3.7 million and $3.5 million.

The dozen highest-grossing films in North America this weekend raked in a total of $172.9 million, a 12 percent increase over the same weekend a year ago, when The Da Vinci Code opened.