Saturday, January 15, 2011

Green Hornet opens with $11.1m Friday: When meeting expectations is still a 'failure'.

So let me get this straight. A couple of months ago, The Green Hornet was that surefire flop that had switched release dates, been converted to 3D, and had survived an avalanche of bad press and rampantly negative speculation. A month ago, the tide started turning, due to some secret screenings for the hardcore nerd film bloggers and the realization that there wasn't anything of note coming out in the month of January. Two weeks ago, tracking started swinging upwards and the studio was optimistically discussing an opening weekend of around $35-40 million for the four day holiday weekend. So come Saturday morning, the picture has opened with $11.1 million on its first day, which puts it track to score around $30-35 million over three days and $35-40 million in four days. So, expectations met, mission accomplished, right? Ha!

Yes, said debut is actually 'soft' and 'short on green' according to The Wrap, and Nikki Finke claims the film is 'surprisingly underperforming' because, I kid you not, that's what rival studios are telling her. I can't imagine that rival studios would have an interest in spreading negative word on Sony's first big picture of the year, can you? I mean, what could Warner Bros. possibly gain by creating the impression that Green Lantern... err, I mean Green Hornet was a box office flop? In most venues, when you meet positive expectations, that counts as a win. The Green Hornet was pegged at about $35-40 million for a four-day opening weekend, and that's pretty much where it's going to end up. That's 'par', which is usually a good thing. But not in the world of box office punditry, where only an out-of-left field surprise smash counts as a win.

Scott Mendelson


Thomaspaine7600 said...

The reason they harped on the results had to with the fact that the film had a $120 million budget, and would have keep making $40 a week for three weeks to meet that budget in domestic gross. In the end, the film did not reach $100 million domestically, stalling at under $99 million, as Bill Mesce pointed out. Remember Batman and Robin in 1997? That grossed $107 domestically on a $125 million budget.

Thomaspaine7600 said...

Also, this film did not have the large tie-in toyline push that Batman and Robin had (the latter film's director notes that they producers told him to make it "toyetic"), so the tackiness will not pay off in the toy sales the way it did with Batman and Robin.


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