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HORNET Falls to Strings

Green Hornet falls short of No Strings Attached.

By Jarrod Sarafin     January 23, 2011

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou can't take down a second victory for The Green Hornet
© Sony Pictures/Bob Trate


On the same day two teams would fight their way into this year’s Super Bowl, a box office bout of a different type came between two comic heroes versus a romantic comedy. And while the Packers and Steelers came out victorious in their respective showdowns, the same can’t be said for Sony’s The Green Hornet which fell just shy of winning its second weekend against Paramount’s opening No Strings Attached.
The rom-com starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher premiered in 1st place by taking down a solid $20.3 million in estimated receipts after its first three days, just $2 million above the action antics of Seth Rogen and Jay Chou. Definitely a great debut for director Ivan Reitman and Paramount here, with the budget for the buddy comedy set at just $25 million.
As is with most romantic comedies, the film’s opening performance was controlled by the female audience, which made up 70% of its demographic. It played slightly older than expected, with 60% of those buying tickets over the age of 25, although Paramount said many of the females were between the ages of 20 and 30. 
 Sony’s comic adaptation, The Green Hornet, takes down the 2nd place spot by pulling in another $18.1 million in coin in its second frame, dropping only 46% and increasing the domestic tally to $63.4 million. With the action film winning the international race this time around with another $18.7 million in 4,775 venues in 45 markets, the studio has a global cume of $100.8 million. Its first ten days of sales has it in decent shape to overcome its $125 million price tag by next weekend.
Following in 3rd is last weekend’s runner-up, Universal’s bromedy The Dilemma. The film with the impossible friendship hypothetical racked in another $9.7 million on 2,943 venues, averaging $3,305 per showing across the nation. With its first two weekends in the bag, the studio has accumulated $33.3 million in sales, nearly half of its $70 million budget.
The Weinstein Company continues to impress insiders and studio executives with their critically acclaimed film The King’s Speech. Holding steady to the 4th place spot for the second weekend in a row, the film grabbed another $9.1 million on 1,680 theaters. With the studio planning to increase that coverage to 2,000 venues next weekend, on a weekend when Oscar talk is hot, we’ll likely be discussing it again in next weekend’s report. Rival studio executives are also impressed with its appeal, which isn’t just the older crowd.
“If my 19-year-old son, who is more geared towards Avatar and Transformers, loved it, you know you have something out of the ordinary,” one rival studio executive said to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Looking at the numbers, they are a clear reflection of incredible word-of-mouth and people’s desire to see an uplifting movie with a positive message. It’s such a great ensemble cast,” the Weinstein Co.’s David Glasser said.
And the 5th place slot goes to Paramount’s western remake True Grit, which hauled up another $8 million over the weekend. The Coen brothers’ latest success story is their only release to cross the $100 million mark, with the film’s domestic gross currently sitting at $138.6 million. It’s a very nice total considering the directors and studio managed to keep its budget down to only $38 million.  
Overall, though, theater revenues continued to trail the past three years, with a 26% decline representing what’s being reported as the lowest attended post-MLK weekend since 1992.  Insiders are attributing this box office depression to a lack of mainstream popcorn releases (much like last year’s runaway hit Avatar) but this bad run has been in motion since last Thanksgiving.  So you decide for yourself what’s the cause of each weekend being declines… 

No Strings Attached
$20.3 mil
$20.3 mil
The Green Hornet
$18.1 mil
$63.4 mil
The Dilemma
$9.7 mil
$33.3 mil
The King’s Speech
$9.1 mil
$58.6 mil
True Grit
$8.0 mil
$138.6 mil
Black Swan
$6.2 mil
$83.5 mil
The Fighter
$4.5 mil
$73.0 mil
Little Fockers
$4.3 mil
$141.1 mil
Yogi Bear
$4.0 mil
$88.8 mil
Tron Legacy
$3.7 mil
$163.2 mil

Friday, January 28, 2011 Releases:
The Rite (2,900+)
The Mechanic (2,800+)
From Prada to Nada
Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grand Master
127 Hours (400+)
King’s Speech (320+)


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SarcasticCaveman 1/23/2011 10:52:58 PM

I said it last week...didn't think Green Hornet sales would plummet, but too many women and stupid people would rather see an idiot try to not have feelings for an emotionally retarded bitch.

goatartist 1/23/2011 11:30:15 PM

 People are starting to wise up that's why. Mediocrity is not enough to get (smart) people to drop $13 for some Ashton Kutcher vehicle or Seth Rogen farce (or $17 if it's a Seth Rogen farce in 3D). Come Original and come with the Quality and people will be in the seats. Case closed. Not. Science.


Wiseguy 1/24/2011 4:22:57 AM

I have no plans of seeing these top 2 films but I thought for sure Green Hornet would repeat at the top again. Not only was it on more screens, it's in 3D and on plenty of I-Max screens not to mention that the only wide opening was a Kutcher film. IMO that speaks tons about GH, nothing good, even though it only dropped 46%.

The Mechanic for sure next week and I admit that I'm leaning towards checking out The Rite as well.

gutsmgee 1/24/2011 4:40:22 AM

I don't care if TGH falls off the chart, it still did better than most of the people on this site, including the reviewer here, said it would, so suck it! :)

VinJoy 1/24/2011 5:25:26 AM

I agree Gutsmgee! SMH at haters. Where is the person collecting this info? When i go see a movie i never see the cashier taking note on my age and gender. imma google that shite.

Hobbs 1/24/2011 5:32:00 AM

For the love of God people, help us help you to stop Ashton Kutcher from making movies by not making him number 1 at the BO.  We are never going to get rid of this guy now.

Hobbs 1/24/2011 5:36:13 AM

On the other hand the Packers won, so all is right in the world this Monday morning.

Wiseguy 1/24/2011 5:55:49 AM

Hobbs I thought you were from the Windy City, what's up with all the GB talk?

Kutcher beat Rogen, ha, what does that say about Rogen?

wessmith1966 1/24/2011 6:30:35 AM

GH didn't drop nearly as much as I thought. Luckily, I didn't have to see it. My theater has started only offering some movies in 3D (they used to offer both 3D and 2D technology) and there's no way I'm paying that price for a Seth Rogen movie. I'll probably see both The Mechanic and The Rite this weekend.

Looking forward to seeing The Kings Speech when it gets here on the 28th.

The reason for the box office decline is pretty simple...a lot of crappy movies. With a few notable exceptions 2010 was a very down years at the theater for me.

monkeyfoot 1/24/2011 6:52:17 AM

I don't agree about quality and originality always succeeding. How many of us here get pissed when a movie we think is the greatest makes little money? Or have the opposite happen and a tired idea or umpteenth sequel makes it big? I think As a creator I would want something new that put my all into be a success but that's not always the case.

I think factors like advertising can help - either traditional or word-of-mouth.Also the economy - if people have the money to spend on a flick.  But probably most important, IMHO is timing. If the right idea hits at the right time it's magic. Don't know how you figure that out.

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