Weekend Box Office – GREEN LANTERN Dims with $52.6 Million Domestic Opening

     June 19, 2011


It looks like negative word of mouth was indeed a factor for this weekend’s highest-profile debut.  After earning decent midnight and Friday numbers, Green Lantern fell off by an estimated 22% on Saturday – giving it a three day opening of just $52.6 million.

Title Weekend Total
1 Green Lantern $52,685,000 $52.6
2 Super 8 $21,250,000 $72.7
3 Mr. Popper’s Penguins $18,200,000 $18.2
4 X-Men: First Class $11,500,000 $119.9
5 The Hangover Part II $9,635,000 $232.6
6 Kung Fu Panda 2 $8,700,000 $143.3
7 Bridesmaids $7,487,000 $136.8
8 Pirates of the Caribbean 4 $6,236,000 $220.3
9 Midnight in Paris $5,237,000 $21.8
10 Judy Moody $2,241,000 $11.1

Green_Lantern_movie_posterNo matter how you slice it, Warner Brothers has to be disappointed with the current estimate for their much-hyped launch of Green Lantern.  Not only did the DC hero fail to live up to the studio’s own expectations (which were slashed earlier this week to reflect the film’s negative critical buzz) but, at this point, GL is coming in under that other big, green, super-powered miss:  Universal’s The Incredible Hulk.

On this weekend in 2008, the Hulk reboot brought in $55.4 million – a disappointment in a summer that also featured Iron Man and The Dark Knight.  The same frame in 2007 brought Fox’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; which opened to $58 million with reviews that were only slightly more-favorable than GL’s current 24% Tomato reading.  Of course, any disappointment WB may be feeling is slight in comparison to their 2010 debut of Jonah Hex.  Clearly, Green Lantern is a blockbuster in comparison to that title but what film can’t make the same claim?

The film that Warner Brothers would most like Green Lantern to be compared to is probably their own Batman Begins.  Six years ago, Christopher Nolan’s reboot launched with $48.7 million.  Although that was considered underwhelming at the time, I think we all know that an incredibly profitable franchise was born of that “disappointment” – a formula the studio was hoping to recapture with Green LanternBatman Begins was not saddled with GL’s negative reviews, of course; nor did it have the benefit of higher 3D ticket prices in over half of its locations.  With this weekend’s estimate the lowest of this year’s other superhero debuts – Thor and X-Men: First Class – the future of the Green Lantern corps looks dim.

The weekend’s second new title, Fox’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins, was also a bit of a disappointment with its estimate of $18.2 million from 3,338 locations.  Though the family film saw a modest increase from Friday to Saturday, it was not enough to claim second place.  That honor went to Super 8, last weekend’s number one film.  Though its estimated $37 million debut turned out to be a bit optimistic (the real number turned out to be $35.4 million), JJ Abrams’ sci-fi title redeemed itself with a second week hold of just under 60%.

One year ago Toy Story 3 debuted to a giant $110 million which means that, overall, this weekend was down by more than 20%.  Luckily, Cars 2 and Transformers 3 are lined up to rescue this summer’s box office from its June slump because Hal Jordan was clearly not up to the task.


  • MovieGeek

    .. Or maybe the fact that
    A) Green Lantern is not really a comic hero anyone cares about…
    B) The trailer didn’t really look any good
    C) People might be getting a bit tired of comic related movies…
    D) The film really sucked.

    That’s what I really thought http://wp.me/p19wJ2-lE

    • Nicole

      Yes, I have read all of these observations on other sites.
      I can not argue with your last point as I have yet to see the film and I will stipulate that the trailers for GL were AWFUL but I, for one, care about the Green Lantern… I’ll take John Stewart over Hal Jordan, but that’s just me.

      And, as far as no one caring about certain characters – did anyone care about “Red”? That made a pretty good movie. Just because this one didn’t work does not mean that it COULDN’T have worked.

      Finally, studios want to make money. If people were truly tired of comic-related movies they would stop making them. Period.

    • Old Man’s Balls

      Green Lantern is awesome. If no one cared about Green Lantern I doubt his comics would be in the top 10 every month. I could have said the same thing about Iron Man and Thor but their movies were actually good. They key here is to make a movie thats good. The potential here is huge and Martin Campbell and Geoff Johns dropped the ball. It could have really been epic.

  • Mom1

    Honestly – it was really good! The whole family went to see it and we all enjoyed it. Ticket sales fall off because the bulk of people already saw it when it first debuted (Fri. and Sat.) AND we only go to the first showing of the day (morning) on the weekend…The place is ALWAYS packed. Mainly because others like us WILL NOT PAY $13.00 a person to see a film during regular times. It’s absolutely RIDICULOUS. Can you honestly justify a family of 4 paying over $52 bucks to see a FILM?

  • Lance

    This movie was just bad. Word of mouth really had to be awful in order to kill GL in its first weekend – with this much marketing, the movie ought to have been critic proof.

    Well, what was Warners thinking with this mess of a film. May they learn they’ve got to do a better job if they want to keep up with Marvel. And even Marvel’s been getting a little bit sloppy. They better not mess up Captain America, though!

  • whatever@whatever.com

    It serves Warners right – they had a good lead and a solid action director and a ridiculously bloated budget and they managed to throw it all away on a mindless script and shoddy cgi. They could have paid for 10 District 9s for the cost of this junk. Stupid

  • Jon

    I don’t feel sad for this – even though I like the chracter, WB has to learn that tons of marketing and CGI does not make good a good blockbuster.

    Anyone knows how First Class is doing overseas and how much did Thor make after its theatrical run? Those films deserve the audience’s money.

  • Huh??

    Thursday, Friday and Saturday #’s are good ar 53 million. It will make another 8-10 million on Sunday. The weekend isn’t even done yet! The 53 million isn’t even counting Sunday numbers!

    • Findley

      Actually, the $53 +/- *does* include the Sunday estimate for the US total (foreign totals usually lag behind).

  • Yup!

    Foreign Box Office hasn’t even been fully calculated yet for Green Lantern!

  • Pojoh

    52.6 million isn’t really a bust for the movie, I’m thinking that by the time all is said and done, it will more than make up its money. The movie had its flaws, but I really didn’t mind it that much. The fights were better than most first time hero movies.

    I’m hoping for a second movie so that the potential of Green Lantern could be better pulled off, by a better creative team.

  • Raplh

    With Cars 2 coming out and Transformers 3 later on, it doesn’t look like all is well

  • bob

    what a scitzo example of reporting-

    on saturday the site reported that the 20mil friday was a good thing, that green lanturn “lit up friday”

    if it has 20mil fri, sat and sun it would only have 60-

    today the headline is, green lanturn “dims” – that 8 mil from 52 to 60 isn’t enough to say it dimmed-

    its funny how sites report the weekend opening- its like they were impressed by the 20 mil friday, but then they read boxofficemojos weekend report and all of a sudden collider thought it was a dissapointmet based on someone elses opinion-

  • gimpsuit

    That’s not really a bad opening for a film as savaged by critics as this. Mars needs moms, now that bombed. GL did ok, not great.
    Once again it will be the international hal which will dicide if this makes money or not.

  • Pragmator

    Wow. $52M is now considered underperforming? Seriously? For a franchise that is just getting visibility outside of a comic book store?

    Secondly, the movie was nowhere near as bad as the professional reviewers are making it out to be. I thought it was just fine; nothing extraordinary, but not the worst movie of the year–and certainly not as bad as “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”.

    Thirdly, comparing this opening with last years Toy Story 3 is the epitome of idiotic. TS3 carried a lot of weight based on the IP alone, and on top of that it got rave reviews from the media. The comparison is unfair and the conclusions drawn are immaterial.

    • T. Van

      @ Pragmator

      In relation to the first question you raise, the answer is yes… in this particular case. The key is to think in terms of an opening weekend implying that the movie will be profitable in the short term. Were Lantern’s combined production and marketing budget $50 million, then this weekend would’ve been viewed as successful. Although an oversimplication, let’s just say that the exact opposite occurred.

      Unfortunately for DC, this is looking to be the type of debacle that will cost someone their job. Seriously.

      • Mark Tornits

        @T. Van


        especially with the rapidly inflating ticket prices-

        what can a 3d ticket get up to $15+, just a few years ago the average was about 8 a ticket-