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"Shrek the Third" breaks records in first weekend

Cast member Mike Myers smiles at the premiere of "Shrek the Third" at the Mann's Village theater in Los Angeles in this May 6, 2007 file photo. DreamWorks Animation SKG's <DWA.N> "Shrek the Third" shattered the opening weekend record for an animated film, bringing in $122 million, exceeding expectations and chalking up the third-biggest opening of all time. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - DreamWorks Animation SKG’s “Shrek the Third” shattered the opening weekend record for an animated film, bringing in $122 million, exceeding expectations and chalking up the third-biggest opening of all time, the company said on Sunday.

The film, starring a lovable green ogre and his wise-cracking donkey friend, stole the No. 1 spot from “Spider-Man 3.”

Analysts expected “Shrek the Third” to gross between $80 million and $110 million and some analysts had not expected the film to top the $108 million opening of “Shrek 2,” which had been biggest first weekend for an animated film in box office history.

“We can’t believe it. I’m thrilled,” Ann Daly, DreamWorks chief operating officer, told Reuters.

Critics gave mixed reviews to “Shrek the Third” and its predecessor.

The record-breaking results also mark the best opening of all time for distributor Paramount Pictures film.

Sony Corp.’s “Spider-Man 3” slipped to the No. 2 spot this weekend with ticket sales of $28.5 million and “28 Weeks Later,” from Fox Atomic fell one spot to No. 3 at $5.2 million.

“Spider-Man 3” retains its title for biggest-ever box office opening at $151.1 million, followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” at $135.6 million.

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