Shrek Forever After continued to prosper in its third weekend, demonstrating that solid word of mouth will keep a popular film on the road to profit even if its opening weekend falls short of the exacting demands of box office watchers.

DreamWorks Animation’s (alleged) final instalment in the family franchise grossed an estimated $25.3m through Paramount to reach $183m and should soar past the $200m mark by the end of next weekend.

The green ogre’s antics scared off two pretenders to the throne. Universal’s comedy Get Him To The Greek with British comic Russell Brand and Johan Hill launched second on $17.4m, while Lionsgate’s romantic comedy Killers starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl placed third on $16.1m.

Last weekend’s new duo slid down towards the mid-table. Disney’s Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time fell 54% and one place to fourth on $13.9m for $59.5m and Warner Bros’ Sex And The City 2 – this weekend’s leading overseas performer – tumbled 59% and three slots to fifth on $12.7m for $73.4m.

Fox’s family release Marmaduke opened in sixth place on a lacklustre $11.3m and the horror tale Splice, which Warner Bros acquired in Sundance for a hefty p&a commitment, fell short of the target as it opened eighth on $7.5m. Paramount’s Iron Man 2 will cross $300m by next weekend and ranks seventh on $291.3m after five weekends.

Next weekend’s wide releases bring two remakes of pop culture staples from the 1980s: Fox’s big screen treatment of The A-Team stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel, while Sony’s The Karate Kid pairs Jaden Smith with Jackie Chan.

Estimated Top 10 North America June 4-6 2010

Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (1)Shrek Forever After (DreamWorks Animation-Paramount) PPI $25.3m $183m

2 (-) Get Him To The Greek (Universal) UPI $17.4m –

3 (-) Killers (Lionsgate) Lionsgate $16.1m –

4 (3) Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $13.9m $59.5m

5 (2) Sex And The City 2 (Warner Bros) WBPI $12.7m $73.4m

6 (-) Marmaduke (Fox) Fox Int’l $11.3m –

7 (4) Iron Man 2 (Marvel/Paramount) PPI $7.8m $291.3m –

8 (-) Splice (Warner Bros) Gaumont $7.5m –

9 (5) Robin Hood (Universal) UPI $5.1m $94.3m

10 (6) Letters To Juliet (Summit) Summit Int’l $3m $43.3m