Dave Karger
May 21, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hollywood executives frothing at the mouth for a bona fide summer blockbuster will get one this weekend, as ”Shrek 2” reaches multiplexes three years after the original.

After ”Van Helsing” and ”Troy” delivered okay-but-not-super numbers in their debut weekends, the computer-generated ogre voiced by Mike Meyers is sure to break that trend thanks to three years of fan anticipation and strong reviews for the sequel, which also features returning voices Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy and newcomers Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, and Julie Andrews. The sequel will easily top ”Shrek”’s $42.4 million opening weekend, but can it also beat ”Finding Nemo”’s $70.3 million? Over five days, ”Shrek 2,” which opened on Wednesday, should reach that figure no problem. For the three-day weekend, it could be close. Expect ”Shrek 2” to gross $70 million from Friday to Sunday.

”Troy,” meanwhile, stands to drop almost 50 percent from its $46.9 million debut to about $24 million, while ”Van Helsing” will continue to plummet to about $10 million.

And with only one new wide release this weekend, ”Mean Girls” and ”Man on Fire” will log one more weekend in the top five, with $6 million and $3 million, respectively. Still, this weekend will be all about that green guy and all the green he brings in.

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