Green Lantern‘s hype was no match for the fact that it looked kind of crappy this weekend, as it opened to a disappointing (for producers, not for moviegoers) $52.7 million. That’s not terrible, but it is worse than Thor ($65 million), X-Men ($55.1 million), The Incredible Hulk ($55.4), or either of the two terrible Fantastic Four movies ($56m and $58m). Not to mention that 45% of the gross came from higher-priced 3D screenings, putting the actual attendance more in line with Ghost Rider or Daredevil. Bad news for Warner, who, according to the NY Times, spent $300 million to make and market it. Okay, on second thought, maybe it is pretty terrible.
“We’re trying very hard to deliver,” said Jeff Robinov, Warner’s top movie executive. “Yes, there is a lot at stake. But I try and frame these things in terms of my own expectations. If you look at ‘Batman Begins,’ it did about $370 million worldwide and got us to a sequel.” A whopper of a sequel in “The Dark Knight,” which earned more than $1 billion at the global box office and showered DVD money on the studio.
“It’s not a comic book movie as much as an epic adventure with huge scope and scale, a space opera in the vein of ‘Star Wars’ with an Earthbound ‘Top Gun’ vibe,” said Greg Berlanti, a producer of the movie and one of four credited writers.
“I try to temper things with my expectations, and I totally expect this B-list superhero comic about a poop tarantula from space fighting a magic ring to be comparable to Batman.” I want what that dude was smoking. Green Lantern will be lucky to make back its $300 million, and earning anything on a sequel would be a miracle seeing as how most people agree that this one kind of sucked real bad. In other news, Mr. Popper’s Penguins debuted at number three with $18 million (on a $55 million production budget), and The Hangover II’s worldwide gross of $488 million surpassed the original’s $468 million. Deadline says this means “the combined worldwide box office for both Hangover pics now exceeds $1 billion.” I don’t know what kind of space math they were using to make 468 million and 488 million add up to a billion, but in any case it’s the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. It just goes to support my thesis, people love watching monkeys do drugs. Not only is it my thesis, it’s also the theme of my birthday party. (full top 10 and fantasy summer box office standings after the jump).
- Green Lantern – $52.6m NEW
- Super 8 – $21.2m (-40.1%) $72.7m total
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $18.2m NEW
- X-Men: First Class – $11.5m (-52.3%) $119.9m total
- The Hangover Part II – $9.6m (-45.5%) $232.6m total
- Kung Fu Panda 2 – $8.7m (-47.4%) $143.3m total
- Bridesmaids – $7.4m (-25.6%) $136.8m total
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $6.2m (-43%) $220.3m total
- Midnight in Paris -$5.2m (-10.2%) $21.7m total
- Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer – $2.2m (-63.1%) $11.1m total
Green Lantern‘s 45% 3D gross also represents the weakening 3D trend (Thor earned 60% of its money from 3D screenings), which, at the rate Hollywood normally responds to consumer apathy, means we should start seeing a slowing in 3D production around 2015, right after the release of the dark and gritty adaptation of Family Circus.
Frotcast Fantasy Summer Box Office Standings
1. Harry Potter
2. X-Men: First Class ($55.1 million opening)
3. Green Lantern ($52.7)
4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
BOMB PICK: The Change Up
Ben’s (The Ear Rapist) Picks:
1. Cars 2
2. Super 8 ($37 million opening*)
3. The Zookeeper
4. Friends with Benefits
BOMB PICK: The Smurfs
Brendan’s (Human Giant) Picks:
1. Transformers 3
2. Captain America
3. Bad Teacher
4. Mr. Popper’s Penguins ($18.2 million)
BOMB PICK: Green Lantern ($160 million production budget minus $52.7 million gross = -$107.3 million)
Bret’s (Grumpiest Man Alive) Picks:
1. Cowboys and Aliens
3. Spy Kids 4
4. Horrible Bosses
BOMB PICK: Transformers 3
*Based on early estimates — actual numbers tomorrow
The Human Giant’s bomb pick comes up huge, while his Penguin pick lays an egg (“Hello, Variety? Is that pun-headline writer position still available?”). It’s a little early to tell, but it looks like yours truly is in the driver’s seat. Which is bad news for everyone else, because I’m pretty drunk.