The Green Hornet release delayed; getting 3D enhancement

Sony Pictures have revealed that Michael Gondry‘s vigilante flick The Green Hornet will no longer open December 22nd, 2010 (a prime holiday spot), but instead Jan 14, 2011.

According to Variety, the studio claims the move is due to the recent decision to convert the film into 3D. The film would be forced to compete for 3D screens with TRON: Legacy and Yogi Bear.

Seth Rogen
stars as the titular vigilante alongside Cameron Diaz (the love interest), Christoph Waltz (the villain) and Jay Chou as his sidekick Kato. Rogen co-wrote the screenplay with Evan Goldberg (the duo worked together on Superbad and Pineapple Express).

The film supposedly contains “Kato-vision” fight sequences that we can only assume are shot from the first-person perspective of The Green Hornet’s butt-kicking bodyguard. These FX-driven sequences are being constructed in 3D by scratch from the FX house.

Although the picture wasn’t shot in 3D, it’s important to differentiate this 3D conversion to the slapdash job done on Clash of the Titans. The conversion of COTT was done in a month, whereas Gondry (himself an ingenious visual wizard) and his FX team have 9 months to convert The Green Hornet.

What is concerning is the move to January 14. Although January isn’t considered as much of a “release date graveyard” as February, it’s not much better. Cloverfield currently holds the record for the biggest January opening weekend, with $US40 million. Aside from Cloverfield, this year’s The Book of Eli and 2008’s surprise hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop, no film has opened to more than $US30 million in January.

Comparatively, the biggest December opening weekend belongs to I Am Legend, with $US77 million. More than 20 films have opened to $US30 million+ in December.

It’s odd that Sony wouldn’t attempt to snap up the March 1 slot that saw Alice in Wonderland (another 3D conversion) open to $US116 million, on its way to an $US828 million worldwide gross.

Despite the potential financial woes of The Green Hornet, it remains one of my most anticipated films of 2010 (or should I now say, 2011).

Discuss: What are your expectations of The Green Hornet, financially and creatively?

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