Shrek 2: DreamWorks Pictures' computer- animated comedy "Shrek 2" had an ogre-whelming opening at the box office, with record-breaking one-day earnings of approximately $11.8 million, it was announced today by DreamWorks head of distribution Jim Tharp.

Opening on Wednesday, May 19, "Shrek 2" broke the record for a mid-week opening for an animated film by more than $1.5 million. The box office figures are especially impressive coming on a non-holiday week with schools still in session across the country.

In making the announcement, Jim Tharp stated, "This was a spectacular opening and one that exceeded all of our expectations. We had hoped to come within range of the record, but to fly well past it was thrilling, to say the least. Based on the reactions of both audiences and critics, we anticipate that positive reviews and very strong word of mouth will spell a very successful weekend and will carry 'Shrek 2' well into the summer months."

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The natural order of fairy tales is interrupted in the sequel to the Academy Award®-winning blockbuster "Shrek." "Shrek 2" sends Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona on a whirlwind of new adventures with more fairy-tale favorites to lampoon along the way. Shrek and Princess Fiona return from their honeymoon to find an invitation to visit Fiona's parents, the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Far, Far Away. With Donkey along for the ride, the newlyweds set off. Little did Shrek and Fiona know that their marriage had foiled all of her father's plans for her future ... and his own. Now the King must enlist the help of a powerful Fairy Godmother, the handsome Prince Charming and that famed ogre killer Puss In Boots to put right his version of "happily ever after."

"Shrek 2" brings back the voices of Mike Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as Donkey and Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona. Joining the all-star voice cast are: Academy Award® winner Julie Andrews ("Mary Poppins") and Oscar® nominee John Cleese ("A Fish Called Wanda") as Fiona's royal parents, Queen Lillian and King Harold; Antonio Banderas ("Spy Kids") as Puss In Boots; Rupert Everett ("My Best Friend's Wedding") as Prince Charming; and Jennifer Saunders ("Absolutely Fabulous") as the Fairy Godmother.

The computer-animated comedy was directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon, with Aron Warner, David Lipman and John H. Williams producing, and Jeffrey Katzenberg executive producing. Adamson and Joe Stillman and J. David Stem & David N. Weiss wrote the screenplay from a story by Adamson, based upon the book by William Steig.

DreamWorks SKG was formed in October, 1994, by its three principal partners -- Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen -- to produce live-action motion pictures; animated feature films; network and cable television programming; home video entertainment; books; toys; and consumer products.

Brian B.