Seth Rogen as a superhero? Michel Gondry directing a big-budget mainstream action flick? If you had asked a handful of movies fan a year ago whether those were good or bad ideas, most would probably lean toward the latter. Well, those same fans would be wearing green egg all over their faces today, as Rogen and Gondry's "The Green Hornet" had a sharp enough sting to easily win first place at the box office this past weekend.
The Sony Pictures action comedy overcame years filled with bad buzz to rake in $34 million during its first weekend in theaters. It's not an astounding number given the production budget behind "Green Hornet," but the action-packed and gut-bursting story of pals Britt Reid (Rogen) and Kato (Jay Chou) seems to have the kind of longevity that could sustain itself over the next couple of weeks. Indeed, the only action competition it faces over the next month are "The Mechanic" and "I Am Number Four," the first of which premieres in two weeks while the latter arrives toward the end of February. That still gives plenty of time for "The Green Hornet" to leave its mark at the box office.
"The Dilemma," the controversial Ron Howard-directed comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, followed behind with $17.4 million in second place. Vaughn- and James-led films typically perform a lot higher — "Grown Ups" secured $40.5 million in its opening weekend in 2010 while "Couples Retreat" snagged $34.3 in 2009, and with the added ingredient of an Oscar-winning director at the helm, it's a bit curious that the comedy didn't meet the two leading men's usual standards.
"True Grit" continued to blaze forward on the ol' dusty trail with a third-place finish that brings the Coen brothers Western's grand total up to $127.4 million. Rounding out the weekend's top five performers were "The King's Speech" in fourth place and "Black Swan" in fifth, solid results that come hot on the heels of their respective wins for Best Actor (Colin Firth) and Best Actress (Natalie Portman) at the 2011 Golden Globes.
The Box-Office Top Five
#1 "The Green Hornet" ($34 million)
#2 "The Dilemma" ($17.4 million)
#3 "True Grit" ($11.2 million)
#4 [movie id="451877"]"The King's Speech"[/movie] ($9.1 million)
#5 [movie id="433331"]"Black Swan"[/movie] ($8.1 million)
Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher have "No Strings Attached" at the box office next weekend, while Ed Harris and Colin Farrell search for "The Way Back" in Peter Weir's new film.
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