Seth Rogen certainly picked the right superhero color. 'The Green Hornet' raked in the most green this weekend, earning about twice as much as the weekend's other new buddy film, the Vince Vaughn dramedy 'The Dilemma.'
Rogen's adaptation of the old masked-hero serial debuted with an estimated $34 million from Friday to Sunday and an estimated $40.0 million over the four-day holiday weekend. That's a little better than expected, given the film's middling reviews and word-of-mouth. But it's the only new action film of the weekend, it offered some mindless 3-D thrills (and a spex-rental surcharge to go with them), and it catered to a younger audience than 'The Dilemma.' The 'Hornet' opening marks a career best for Rogen and is the second-best Martin Luther King holiday weekend debut ever, behind the $46.1 million earned by 'Cloverfield' in 2008.
By contrast, 'The Dilemma' scored just an estimated $17.4 million for its first three days and $21.1 million over the full holiday weekend. Those are poor numbers for a movie starring Vince Vaughn or one directed by Ron Howard. Blame poor marketing, from the ill-conceived "electric cars are gay" joke in the trailer that made the movie seem gratuitously controversial, to the ads that misrepresented it as a goofy buddy comedy when it turned out to be more of a serious exploration of male friendship. At this rate, it's going to be a struggle for 'Dilemma' to recoup its reported $70 million budget.