The Green Hornet Puts the Sting on The Dilemma


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Tuesday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The Martin Luther King Jr. weekend saw the release of two comedies with big potential, but one of them clearly won the day and that was Seth Rogen’s action-comedy The Green Hornet (Sony), which brought in an estimated $40 million over the four-day holiday weekend with an impressive average of $11.2k in 3,584 theaters. Its estimated three-day gross of $33.7 million makes it Seth Rogen’s top opening live-action comedy, putting it just ahead of Superbad. $3 million of the movie’s four-day gross was accounted for by its 173 IMAX Digital 3D bookings.

Despite the superstar pairing of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, both of whom have headlined numerous $30 million comedies, Ron Howard’s high concept The Dilemma (Universal) failed to make as significant a mark, opening in second place with just $21.1 million in 2,940 theaters over the same four days.

Joel and Ethan Coen’s popular Western True Grit (Paramount), starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld, failed to receive any Golden Globe nominations, but it dominated over two movies that did with $13.1 million in its fourth weekend at the box office. It has racked up a total of $128 million based on a reported production budget of $38 million, making it a significant hit for the filmmakers and Paramount.

Two movies that did score awards of the weekend had significant increases in the number of theaters playing them on Friday, which paid off with large increases in box office from last week with Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech (Weinstein Company), starring Golden Globe winner Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, moving from ninth place to fourth with $11.2 million, up 74% from last week, bringing its total to $46.7 million. Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller Black Swan, starring Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman, remained in fifth place for a second week with $10.3 million in four days, bringing its own total to $75.3 million, making it Ms. Portman’s top-grossing non-“Star Wars” movie.

The two Oscar contenders knocked the Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro comedy hit Little Fockers (Universal) down to sixth place with $8.4 million, down 38% from last weekend despite the extra day added into its weekend. Clearly, having two strong comedies was too much competition for the threequel, which ends its fourth week with $135.4 million, just $7 million more than True Grit despite opening the same day.

Seventh place went to the Warner Bros. family film Yogi Bear with $7.4 million and $84.1 million total. That was followed by Disney’s TRON: Legacy, dropping from fourth place all the way down to eighth with $6.8 million and $158 million in five weeks. TRON: Legacy has now scored a whopping $52 million from its global IMAX release.

David O. Russell’s boxing drama The Fighter (Paramount), starring Mark Wahlberg and Golden Globe winners Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, dropped to ninth place with $6.2 million and $66.8 million total.

Both of last week’s openers dropped out of the Top 10 with Nicolas Cage’s action-thriller Season of the Witch (Relativity Media) taking 11th place with $5.3 million and the Gwyneth Paltrow musical drama Country Strong (Sony/Screen Gems) taking 12th with $4.4 million. The former has grossed $18.8 million in 11 days, while the latter is at $14 million.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $147.5 million over the four-day weekend, down 19% from Martin Luther King Jr. weekend last year which had another $54 million being brought in by James Cameron’s Avatar.

The indepenent release The Heart Specialist (Freestyle Releasing) opened in 422 theaters but only made it up to 19th place with $604 thousand in its first four days.

Another Golden Globe winner, Richard Lewis’ Barney’s Version (Sony Pictures Classics) with Paul Giamatti (the recipient of said GG) and Rosamund Pike, brought in $85 thousand in four theaters in New York and L.A. over the four-day weekend.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.