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HORNET Shoots Up Top Spot

Sony's The Green Hornet premieres with $34 million.

By Jarrod Sarafin     January 16, 2011


Seth Rogen and Jay Chou's The Green Hornet debuts in 1st place for Sony.
© Sony Pictures/Bob Trate

 

After months of promotional tie-ins and a few release delays to boot, Sony Pictures found themselves on top of the box office this weekend with the premiere of The Green Hornet. The action-comedy starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou was launched into 3,584 theaters and found an estimated $34 million for the victory, with the studio expecting that number to jump to $40 million by the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. With that estimate in mind for the four-day break it will end up with the second-best opening ever for the King holiday behind Paramount’s 2008 monster movie Cloverfield, which took in $46 million over the same stretch.
 
Sony also revealed “Hornet” in 3,000 screens at 35 oversea territories, taking in an estimated $16 million in coin to increase its global opening tally to $50 million. The launch is a decent opening as the studio managed to keep their budget down to only $110 million.
 
"As we moved down the road, it got a lot of love, the love that it deserved," said Rory Bruer, Sony's president of worldwide distribution. "I think everything worked really well for the film: the timing, the release date, the marketing, and, most importantly, the film itself. It all gelled in a terrific way. We're very pleased with the results."
 
Overall though, it’s basically the same story you’ve heard the past few months in that we may have a new winner to discuss but ticket sales as a whole are down. This latest report represents a 25% drop from the same time last year when Avatar was still dominating the box office, pulling in $50.3 million in its fourth weekend of release. It’s also the lowest results of this calendar week since the 2007 race when Fox’s Night at the Museum won that frame with only $23.7 million in sales.
 
Following in 2nd place is the other new wide release for this holiday, Universal’s comedy The Dilemma. The what-if hypothetical of friendship starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James debuted on 2,940 theaters and found $17.4 million, with the studio estimating a $20 million payday after Monday’s results.
 
The remainder of the top five falls to more serious fare and possible Oscar winners in True Grit, The King’s Speech and Black Swan.
 
Continuing to maintain a strong presence at the box office, the Coen brothers’ True Grit relinquished the top spot, dropping two places to 3rd with a weekend tally of $11.2 million. Paramount estimates that number will jump to $13.3 million for the four-day score, increasing its domestic cume to $128.5 million. With the directing siblings and studio keeping the western’s budget down to only $38 million, the release has become one of the most profitable releases of the past season.
 
Taking advantage of critical acclaim following award nominations, the Weinstein Company expanded The King’s Speech into 785 more theaters---for a total of 1,543---and found $9.0 million in receipts. After 8 weeks of release the potential Oscar winner has taken in $44.5 million, a decent tally for the release which cost only $15 million to produce.
 
And taking up the 5th place spot for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan. Like the Weinstein film above, the Darren Aronofsky-directed production has been expanding its theatrical tally each weekend, with this latest frame adding 744 more auditoriums across the nation. As a result, the Natalie Portman vehicle found another $8.1 million to increase its domestic cume to $72.9 million. It’s becoming a very profitable venture for the indie distributor as the budget is only around $13 million.
 

Rank
Movie
Weekend
Theaters
Average
Total
Budget
1
The Green Hornet
$34.0 mil
3,584
$9,487
$34.0 mil
$110
2
The Dilemma
$17.4 mil
2,940
$5,925
$17.4 mil
----
3
True Grit
$11.2 mil
3,459
$3,238
$126.4 mil
$38
4
The King’s Speech
$9.0 mil
1,543
$5,878
$44.5 mil
$15
5
Black Swan
$8.1 mil
2,328
$3,490
$72.9 mil
$13
6
Little Fockers
$7.1 mil
3,394
$2,103
$134.2 mil
$100
7
Tron Legacy
$5.6 mil
2,439
$2,326
$156.9 mil
$170
8
Yogi Bear
$5.3 mil
2,702
$1,978
$82.0 mil
$80
9
The Fighter
$5.1 mil
2,414
$2,123
$65.7 mil
$25
10
Season of the Witch
$4.5 mil
2,827
$1,592
$17.9 mil
$40

 
Friday, January 21, 2011 Releases:
Wide
No Strings Attached (2,800+)
The Way Back (650+)
Limited
The Company Men
Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
The Housemaid

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 19
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lazerman 1/16/2011 2:02:58 PM

Saw THE GREEN HORNET Friday night, loved it, love that it is making enough witht he world wide release to make a sequel!  KATO was AWESOME  One Inch Punch rules!

redhairs99 1/16/2011 2:19:49 PM

I actually enjoyed the Green Hornet.  I went in with low expectations and had fun watching it.  I'd give it a B/B-.

The one part that, for me, needed a bit more polishing was (SPOILER WARNING)

 

...the beginning of the film and Britt's leap from party boy to his meeting Kato to "hey let's be crime fighters!"  I think it would have been much better and a smoother transition had Young Britt (aka trying to be the hero helping a girl who was being bullied) continued into his adulthood.  Trying to do good but constantly messing up until after his father's death and he meets Kato.  It would've been a better transition than the party-boy to crime fighter.

samson 1/16/2011 2:53:14 PM

They still missed a great oppurtunity to make the GH movie something special. It should have been made from the perspective of an undercover cop. 'Cause, if  you think about it, that's what he Kato are; under cover crimefighters. They pose as criminals to get close to criminals and take them down.

How does that affect Britt and Kato mentally? How does that change their view of criminals and the crimes they comment? Do they begin to understand how a person could turn to a life of crime? Do they get tempted to actually become criminals themselves?

Britt's basicaly a rich kid who more than likely sees things in black and white. What happens to him as he discovers those shades of grey? Because Kato didn't grow up rich, wouldn't he see things diffirently? As a matter of fact, I would have had Kato come from a more hard scrabble background. Maybe, at one point, he would have had to steal to eat. How do those possibly opposing views affect their budding friendship and how they fight crime in general?

I'm going to see GH later today. And, I may like it for what it is. But, I would have much rather see a serious crime drama with super hero elements. GH would have been perfect for that.

Excuse the spelling. ..lol

Samson

dawntreader 1/16/2011 3:21:40 PM

 that grid on the page showing the weekend results, is it domestic only, or global?

Calibur454 1/16/2011 3:33:56 PM

evangelion wont do much in theaters but it will kill in dvd sales

im actually kinda not surprised by green hornet taking top spot most of the family movies have already been in the top five and have leveled off I think that Hornet finally managed to get enough parents with thier kids into the theater to see it after the parents themasleves watched movies like black swan and true grit.

karas1 1/16/2011 4:25:55 PM

Saw True Grit today, really good film.

ThrillerSam 1/16/2011 4:38:07 PM

Dawntreader it's only domestic.

wessmith1966 1/16/2011 4:59:55 PM

Greem Hornet...car was cool, action scenes were exciting but Rogen was about what I expected...awful. I would have liked it a lot more with a different lead who was at least somewhat believable. Thanks to the extra 3D money it had a good first weekend. It'll plummet next week.

monkeyfoot 1/16/2011 6:07:33 PM

Saw GH also. Loved it. It exceeded the expectations I had from the trailers.

I'm not a Rogen hater or lover. He's no great actor IMHO but he works as the lead in this because this is a buddy pic. The key to it working depended on the chemistry and comedic bromance between him and Jay Chou and I thought it worked great.

I know nothing of Chou. Don't know how well he knows his english but he comes across with a great charisma and the repartee between he and Rogen is good, even better than what you see in the trailers. This is either with what he says, facial expressions, or just a look. I can see a career for him in more American films. (Even kinda liked his song in the end credits).  Chistopher Walz as the quirky villain and Cameron Diaz as the unwitting brains of the hero team is also great. For those who complain that superhero  movies always don't have enough action, there is plenty in here.

One of the main criticisms from us comic geeks is not treating the character seriously. That's the hallmark that we all want in our adaptation. For me the Rogen /Gondry approach is great, however. I think it's the same for the general audience, since there is little knowledge of him.

Also Rob's review points out that having a superhero who is pretty inept at everything and depends on his much more talented companions is a negative. I see no problem in this. Part of this Hero's Journey is his desire to accomplish good (and in the beginning get his kicks) but being skill-less in doing it. He develops and learns, however and reaches his moment you want in a hero of realizing what it means to be a hero and doing the right thing no matter what. The closest other movie example would be Big Trouble In Little China where Kurt Russell is the main hero but can't do much of anything without the talented posse he hangs with, Despite this, his heart is in the right place.

So what you see in the trailers is what you get. So if that is not what you want, then this isn't the flick for you. It was for me.

Your mileage may vary.

SarcasticCaveman 1/16/2011 7:06:52 PM

I don't think it's numbers are going PLUMMET after this week.  All we have coming out next week is a movie starring Affleck and a romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman.  As much as I hate to say it, it'll probably lose 1st place that 70's reject.  The next movie I want to see is The Rite on January 28th.  Sure, it can be argued that it's another Exorcist knock off, but I'll watch a knock off starring Sir Anthony Hopkins any day.

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