The thing has the theatrical-must-ness of 3D, after all. I don't think its disappointing box office can be blamed because people are just waiting to rent it, even if those people are convinced by all those 3D TV commercials that they'll indeed own one of them by year's end. So why didn't families rush out to the latest adventure of everyone's favorite ogre?
Well, the whole 3D thing may have been an issue of sorts. At least one analyst points to the high ticket price of the format, particularly that of cinemas in NYC, which have a cost of $19 per ticket. For a family of four, that's $76 before concessions. Is it still a problem for the rest of the country? Possibly, but most likely it's a combination of the high price with the fact that there are just too many 3D movies to choose from, and not all have proven to be worth the surcharges.
It's no longer a special treat to see a 3D movie, and it's no longer expected that we'll get spectacle so much as exploitation of the promise of spectacle. Now add the potential factor that some moviegoers do indeed believe they'll be able to own a 3D Blu-ray of Shrek 4 to watch on their 3D HD-TV around Christmastime, and maybe there is some similarity to the MacGruber explanation.
Of course, even without thinking they'll be able to see the film at home in 3D, families may just not care about the format for this particular movie. They already went through three installments of the franchise in 2D, so maybe they're satisfied with seeing the fourth flat as well. Either way, the whole business of 3D will be interesting to watch as more and more movies flood the market (
Why do you think Shrek Forever After didn't meet expectations? Why didn't you see it?