So much for the massive box office debut for "The Green Hornet." According to pre-opening industry polling, The Michel Gondry directed comedy adventure was expected to pull anywhere between $45-50 million for the four-day Martin Luther King day weekend. After Friday's night's $11.5 million debut, it's looking much closer to $36-38 million. For most January releases that would be more than adequate, but with a reported $125-150 million budget (not to mention a summer level marketing spend) Sony Pictures will have to hope for strong International grosses to break even on this one.
Vince Vaughn and Kevin James new comedy "The Dilemma" found some laughs in the second spot with $6.2 million. At best, the Ron Howard directed flick should find $19-21 million for the holiday frame. Considering James' last three films all opened north of $34 million and Vaughn's last two opened north of $31 million the fact their combined starpower couldn't muster more excitement has to be someone disconcerting. Then again, landing just a 24% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes can't help either.
Still riding the range in third was the Coen Bros.' "True Grit." The Western collected another $3.1 million for an impressive $118.3 million to date.
Jumping into the fourth slot was "The King's Speech" which expanded into 1,593 theaters and grossed a solid $2.4 million. The Oscar contender has found $37.9 million so far with lots of speeches still to come on the road to the Academy Awards.
"Black Swan" was just behind "Speech" with $2.3 million after jumping up to 2,300 plus theaters. Darren Aronofsky's acclaimed thriller has a spectacular $67.1 million to date and is pirouetting its way to a $100 million lifetime gross.
Look for complete weekend box office estimates tomorrow on HitFix.
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