Sex and the City 2Two new Arabian adventures will jockey for box office supremacy this weekend. 'Sex and the City 2' takes Carrie Bradshaw and her friends on a resort vacation to Abu Dhabi, while 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' brings the video game series to life with Jake Gyllenhaal as an 'Arabian Nights'-style adventurer. Strong as the lure of a shirtless Gyllenhaal may be, he doesn't stand a chance against the 'City' gals.

The 'Sex' sequel is expected to build upon the $56.8 million debut the first film enjoyed on the same Memorial Day weekend two years ago. Like that film, the Sarah Jessica Parker sequel is likely to be the biggest escapist film for women moviegoers all summer (with the possible exception of the third 'Twilight' movie, 'Eclipse').

UPDATE: 'Sex' earned an estimated $14.2 million on Thursday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Sex and the City 2Two new Arabian adventures will jockey for box office supremacy this weekend. 'Sex and the City 2' takes Carrie Bradshaw and her friends on a resort vacation to Abu Dhabi, while 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' brings the video game series to life with Jake Gyllenhaal as an 'Arabian Nights'-style adventurer. Strong as the lure of a shirtless Gyllenhaal may be, he doesn't stand a chance against the 'City' gals.

The 'Sex' sequel is expected to build upon the $56.8 million debut the first film enjoyed on the same Memorial Day weekend two years ago. Like that film, the Sarah Jessica Parker sequel is likely to be the biggest escapist film for women moviegoers all summer (with the possible exception of the third 'Twilight' movie, 'Eclipse').

Compared to the surprisingly grim 2008 movie, however, the second 'Sex' is said to be much lighter and frothier in tone, which should only help its numbers. Opening on 3,445 screens, it should seduce moviegoers to the tune of $60 to $70 million over the four-day weekend. An early opening on Thursday is likely to add about $18 million to that tally, as well as boosting word of mouth.

Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' 'Persia' will be competing for second place with last week's winner, 'Shrek Forever After.' Both will land in the $45 to $55 million range. Both are vying for the same family audience. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who turned a theme park ride into the $2.6 billion 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise for Disney, hopes to work similar magic with this PG-13 video game adaptation. But video game movies (aside from Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft movies nearly a decade ago) have had a hard time crossing over from hardcore gamers to mainstream audiences. 'Persia' is opening on 3,646 screens, but its relative lack of stars (aside from Gyllenhaal's pecs) or strong buzz means the movie will be lucky to break $50 million.

As for 'Shrek,' it's expected to lose about 40 percent of its business from last week's underwhelming opening. That would bring it down to about $45 million, for a third-place finish.

Rounding out the top five will be 'Iron Man 2,' which should drop down below $20 million and finish in fourth place. In fifth will be 'Robin Hood,' which will dip to about $12 million.

Top 5 predictions:

1. 'Sex and the City 2,' $66 million
2. 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,' $49 million
3. 'Shrek Forever After,' $46 million
4. 'Iron Man 2,' $18 million
5. 'Robin Hood,' $12 million

• Follow Gary Susman on Twitter @garysusman.