'Green Hornet' poised to be first hit of 2011

Updated: 2011-01-14 14:32


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'Green Hornet' poised to be first hit of 2011

LOS ANGELES  - Fueled by younger males, Sony Pictures' 3D superhero pic "The Green Hornet" should sport a potent sting this weekend.

Universal Pictures' "The Dilemma," directed by Ron Howard, will have a tougher time and could bring muted numbers for a Vince Vaughn or Kevin James comedy.

Conservative estimates have "Green Hornet" grossing in the mid-$30 million range for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The film goes out Friday in 3,584 theaters domestically, including 174 Imax runs, and will easily place No. 1.

Favorite holdovers to watch include Paramount Pictures' "True Grit," Fox Searchlight's "Black Swan" and the Weinstein Co.'s "The King's Speech."

With the Golden Globes airing Sunday, many moviegoers will rush to catch up on awards frontrunners.

"Black Swan" and "King's Speech" are assisting in this task by making major expansions — "Swan" ups its theater count from 1,552 to 2,331 on Friday, while "King's Speech" goes from 758 theaters to 1,543.

Among other Globe-nominated films, the Weinstein Co.'s "Blue Valentine" expands from 40 runs to 230, and Sony Pictures Classics opens "Barney's Version" in four theaters in New York and L.A. after a brief qualifying run last month.

"Green Hornet," converted to 3D, is poised to become the first commercial hit of 2011. Tracking has been exceptionally strong, enough to impress one-time skeptics.

The film also makes a major push overseas, opening day and date in a number of key territories.

Directed by Michel Gondry and toplining Seth Rogen and Jay Chou, "Green Hornet" cost upward of $100 million to produce. Christoph Waltz and Cameron Diaz also star.

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