“It’s not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be!”
That pleasantly surprised tweet came from my co-worker Jeff last week as he perused a Sony press screening for The Green Hornet
For the last several months, Jeff and I had been hearing a steady stream of pre-release bad buzz for the Seth Rogen action-comedy, most of it centering on the following premise: “How can they make a pudgy comic actor a super hero?”
Well, they just did.Green Hornet grossed an estimated $40 million over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday, meeting pre-release projections for a $130 million PG-13 rated movie – expectations that started to perk up in the last several weeks once Sony started screening the film.
It was the second biggest MLK weekend premiere ever, following the $40.1 million debut in 2008 for Paramount’s low-budget horror hit Cloverfield.
Universal, meanwhile, debuted the Ron Howard ensemble comedy The Dilemma to $21.1 million this weekend.
Again, that was about what the movie was expected to do … but that’s not great, when you consider the recent box-office success enjoyed by stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James.
James is coming off three straight $30 million-plus openings, which includes Grown Ups ($40.5 million), Paul Blart: Mall Cop ($31.8 million) and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry ($34.2 million).
For Vaughn, it was two straight, with last year’s Couples Retreat starting out to $34.3 million and 2008’s Four Christmases debuting to $31.1 million.
As adult-targeted comedies go, The Dilemma isn’t expensive – well, not How Do You Know $120 million expensive anyway – but it’s not cheap, either, registering a production price tag of $70 million.
Here’s how the movies did this weekend compared to our Thursday predictions:
The Crystal Ball
|The Green Hornet ||Made: $40.0M ||We predicted: $40.0M |
| The Dilemma ||Made: $21.1M || We predicted: $22.0M|
| True Grit ||Made: $13.1M ||We predicted: $12.0M|
| The King’s Speech ||Made: $11.2M ||We predicted: $8.5M|
| Black Swan ||Made: $10.4M ||We predicted: $10.0M|
| Little Fockers ||Made: $8.4M ||We predicted: $9.0M|
| Yogi Bear ||Made: $7.5M ||We predicted: $5.0M|
| Tron: Legacy ||Made: $6.8M ||We predicted: $6.5M|
| The Fighter ||Made: $6.2M ||We predicted: $5.5 M|
| Tangled ||Made: $5.5M ||We predicted: N/A|