By John Young
Updated January 17, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST
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Image Credit: Jaimie TruebloodWelcome back, Seth Rogen. The comic actor’s last three live-action films — Funny People, Observe and Report, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno — all failed to make much of an impact at the box office. But with The Green Hornet, Rogen finally delivered another hit. The $110 million superhero flick won the four-day holiday weekend with $40 million, according to studio estimates. That figure gives the Sony movie the second-best Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend debut on record, after 2008’s Cloverfield, which opened to $46.1 million. The pricier 3-D showings represented 69 percent of Hornet‘s business, with IMAX 3-D screenings accounting for about 10 percent of that total. The PG-13 film, which drew an audience that was 61 percent male, was also generally well liked. CinemaScore audiences handed it an overall “B+” grade, while those under 18 awarded it a straight “A.”

The Dilemma, however, failed to replicate the box-office prowess of star Vince Vaughn’s most recent projects. The Ron Howard movie placed second with a four-day tally of $21.1 million, and its three-day gross of $17.8 million represents Vaughn’s worst debut since 2003’s Old School (for a movie opening in at least 1,000 theaters). Although CinemaScore audiences gave the $70 million comedy an okay “B” rating, The Dilemma may quickly fade from theaters, especially with the Natalie Portman-Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy No Strings Attached arriving this weekend.

True Grit grabbed third place with $13.1 million for the holiday weekend. Its three-day tally of $10.9 million was a mere 25 percent slip from the prior weekend, and the PG-13 Western has so far never dropped more than 40 percent. With $128.3 million to date and a number of Oscar nominations likely on the way, the film should have no trouble reaching $150 million. In fourth and fifth place were The King’s Speech and Black Swan, which earned $11.2 million and $10.4 million, respectively. The two indie breakouts each added more than 700 theaters this weekend, and should also benefit from the Oscar nominations, which are announced on Jan. 25.

In limited release, the Michelle Williams-Ryan Gosling relationship drama Blue Valentine collected $1.7 million from 230 locations. And Barney’s Version, for which Paul Giamatti won a Best Actor Golden Globe last night, took in $85,200 at four theaters.

Here are the four-day studio estimates:

1. The Green Hornet — $40.0 mil

2. The Dilemma — $21.1 mil

3. True Grit — $13.1 mil

4. The King’s Speech — $11.2 mil

5. Black Swan — $10.4 mil

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