I have mixed emotions about this week’s box office. On the one hand, a pair of absolutely awful films topped the chart. On the other hand, there are a bunch of little, Academy-friendly movies up there too. So it’s with both a heavy heart and a sense of jubilation that I report back on this weekend’s box office, in which the entire American populace seemed to say, “Well, ‘The Green Hornet’ is out,” without actually, you know, looking at the reviews or remembering how ghastly the trailers and television spots have been.
Yes, ‘The Green Hornet‘ came in at #1 with an estimated $34 million. For a little while there, it looked like the Seth Rogen/Michel Gondry superhero romp would make much, much less. Then it had a large bump on Saturday, which let it secure the second highest opening ever for a film released during the MLK holiday weekend. It still remains to be seen if the movie can recoup its huge budget, which hovers around the $150 million range after costly reshoots and a last-minute decision to convert the film into 3D (for no apparent reason, besides those big-ass dollar signs). I actually predicted that the movie would leave most audiences cold, since it seems to be neither the gross-out comedy that Rogen aficionados expect nor the whiz-bang action spectacle that fans of the genre have come to know and love. We’ll see what happens next weekend.
At #2 was Ron Howard’s ‘The Dilemma‘. Given the mighty box office weight of the two stars (Vince Vaughn and Kevin James), I expected this to make way more than its measly $17.4 million. I saw the movie over the weekend and can attest to just how terrible it is (very, very terrible). It’s really astonishing how horrible it is… It’s shockingly bad. While there seemed to be some guffaws emanating from the back of the mostly-empty theater, I really can’t see this movie creating any kind of word-of-mouth buzz. It’s that poor.
The rest of the Top Five was rounded out by heavily-touted awards contenders. #3 was ‘True Grit‘ with another $10.5 million. #4 was ‘The King’s Speech‘, which doubled its total number of screens this weekend and made $9 million. And #5 was Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece ‘Black Swan‘ with $8.1 million.
Besides that, the rest of the box office was the same old, same old. However, I want to note again the amazing staying power of Disney’s ‘Tangled‘, which stayed in the Top 10 at #10 with another $3.9 million. Think about how gone-in-a-flash most animated films are. (Hey, ‘Megamind‘, we vaguely remember you.) Yet this one has hung tough. Way to go, Disney! It’s nice to see a classic, unpretentious, and winningly sincere animated movie kick box office ass.
The Top 10
01 ‘The Green Hornet’ (Sony) – $34 million
02 ‘The Dilemma’ (Universal) – $17.4 million
03 ‘True Grit’ (Paramount) – $10.5 million
04 ‘The King’s Speech’ (Weinstein Co) – $9 million
05 ‘Black Swan’ (Fox) – $8.1 million
06 ‘Little Fockers’ (Universal) – $7.1 million
07 ‘Tron Legacy’ (Disney) – $5.7 million
08 ‘Yogi Bear’ (Warner Bros) – $5.2 million
09 ‘The Fighter’ (Paramount) – $5 million
10 ‘Tangled’ (Disney) – $3.9 million