After a significant improvement in ticket sales on Saturday, Sony estimated that The Green Hornet would wind up with $34 million for the three-day weekend and $40.5 million for the four-day Martin Luther King holiday. On Saturday, the studio had estimated that Friday's gross had totaled $11.2 million, at the low end of analysts' estimates. But it said today (Sunday) that sales rose 13.4 percent on Saturday to $12.7 million, and it figured that the movie would add $10.1 million today and another 6.5 million on Monday. But while The Green Hornet appeared likely to defy critics' put-downs and earlier bad buzz -- no pun intended -- the other new release, Ron Howard's The Dilemma, got off to a disappointing start. Universal estimated that its three-day total would come to just $17.4 million and its four-day to $20 million. Still riding high in the saddle, however, was the Coen Brothers' True Grit, which held on to third place with $11.1 million for the weekend and $13.3 million for the holiday to bring its gross to date to $128.5 million. Still, two so-called specialty films proved to be the stand-out performers of the weekend. The Weinstein Co. expanded The King's Speech into 1,583 theaters where it took in about $9.1 million, while Fox Searchlight expanded Black Swan into 2,328 locations, where it took in around $8.1 million. Overall, however, the box office remained in a deep slump. If estimates hold, total ticket sales will probably come to $115.2 million, down 25 percent from a year ago, when Avatar was well on its way to breaking sales records.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. The Green Hornet , $34 million; 2. The Dilemma , $17.4 million; 3. True Grit , $11.2 million; 4. The King's Speech , $9 million; 5. Black Swan, $8.1 million; 6. Little Fockers , $7.1 million; 7. Tron Legacy, $5.6 million; 8. Yogi Bear , $5.3 million; 9. The Fighter , $5.1 million; 10. Season of The Witch , $4.5 million.

17/01/2011