Weekend Box Office: ‘Green Lantern’ Shines, But Not Very Brightly

Although not the most sour opening weekend of the summer, this sure wasn’t the greatest either. The B-list superhero ‘Green Lantern’ failed to meet studio expectations, and family-friendly ‘Mr. Popper’s [Pooping] Penguins’ only brought in $18 million. Taking into account the box office predictions and that fact that Father’s Day usually brings the families out, this weekend was a disappointment.

Like I said in my review, while ‘Green Lantern‘ isn’t a terrible movie, it doesn’t come close to the quality of other recent comic book adaptations. There’s too much story, not enough light-heartedness.

According to Box Office Mojo, 3D ticket sales of ‘Green Lantern’ account for 45% of its total $52.6 million weekend gross, right on par with other summer 3D disappointments ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’. So far, ‘Thor’ still holds the best opening weekend 3D percentage of the summer with over 60% coming from 3D ticket sales.

Although its opening weekend finished almost $2 million above predictions, the family film ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins‘ should have grossed a lot more on this Father’s Day weekend. The family films that played Father’s Day weekend of last year (Toy Story 3’, ‘Karate Kid’ and ‘Shrek Forever After’) brought in a cumulative total of over $145 million. This weekend, the combined gross of family films ‘Popper’s Penguins’, ‘Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ only reached $29 million.

The unbearable indie hipster drama ‘The Art of Getting By‘ grossed a low total of only $700,000 on 610 screens, pulling in only $1,148 on each screen. Don’t expect a sequel.

Showing its legs, ‘Super 8‘ dropped only 40.1% in attendance, to bring in another $21 million. With a total gross of $72.7 million after only two weekends in theaters, ‘Super 8’ has now made more than $22 million above production costs. ‘X-Men: First Class‘ is still more than $40 million away from hitting its budget, while ‘Kung Fu Panda 2‘ is now less than $7 million away from its. One of the most successful movies of the year, ‘Bridesmaids‘ has now grossed more than $136 million on a budget of only $32.5 million, which is really impressive considering that it’s still holding strong at the #7 spot on its sixth weekend in theaters.

Top 10:

1. ‘Green Lantern’ (Warner Bros.) – $52,685,000

2. ‘Super 8’ (Paramount) – $21,250,000

3. ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ (Fox) – $18,200,000

4. ‘X-Men: First Class’ (Fox) – $11,500,000

5. ‘The Hangover Part II’ (Warner Bros.) – $9,635,000

6. ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ (Paramount/DreamWorks) – $8,700,000

7. ‘Bridesmaids’ (Universal) – $7,487,000

8. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (Buena Vista) – $6,236,000

9. ‘Midnight in Paris’ (Sony Pictures Classics) – $5,237,000

10. ‘Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer’ (Relativity) – $2,241,000


  1. Jane Morgan

    ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ cost $150M, and is up to $432M worldwide. It’s pure profit now. Expect the sequel, with Chuck Norris, to get greenlit soon.

    ‘Pirates 4’ is already the 10th highest grossing movie of all time, with $950M. It will beat ‘The Dark Knight’ next week.

    ‘Green Lantern’ looks like it won’t break even, and a sequel won’t happen. Maybe in five years we’ll get a reboot, starring Edward Norton.

    • And even though Edward Norton’s reboot is even great, they’ll replace him for The Justice League.

      I’ve been told that a studio views its success based on domestic box office because most of the time a film’s international distributor is not the same as it’s domestic distributor. If it’s an American film, the domestic distributor is the one who shells out the money for production costs – that’s why the domestic box office is so important to them.

      Does that make sense?

      • Jane Morgan

        Domestic box office profits account for about 15% of a blockbuster’s earnings.

        All the big studios are international distributors.

        For big movies, worldwide box office tends to mirror total earnings.

        ‘The Return Of The King’ grossed $377M domestic, $1119 worldwide.

        Here’s how the studio earnings broke down:

        $183M – Domestic Theater Revenue
        $176M – Foreign Theater Revenue
        $500M – Worldwide DVD
        $80M – US TV
        $80M – Foreign TV
        $110M – Other Rights

        $1129M – Total Earnings

        For big movies, comparing US BO to estimated costs is misleading.

        For small movies, it’s even less accurate, as DVD and TV will be more important.

        (This also illustrates why Hollywood is unsettled by falling DVD sales.)

        Film budgets and weekend reports are purely marketing tools.

        *** The LOTR numbers came from ‘The Big Picture: The New Logic Of Money And Power In Hollywood’ by Edward Jay Epstein.

  2. Onslaught

    Yeah, but WB is definitely the distributor for every territory for GL. Usually you only run into those kinds of problems with movies that are mega expensive (Titanic) or smaller films where studios don’t want to take the risk in handling worldwide distribution But the international grosses will be meager because they typically do not go for comic book fare like we do. On top of that, they usually take in a smaller share of the revenue compared to theaters in the U.S.

    GL will not make its budget back because they made a bad movie, and they spent far more than they should have on it. A movie like this should not have cost any more than $250 million to make and market, but apparently the number is closer to $350 million. If it was any decent, it could have made it to 400 million worldwide, maybe, but it’ll likely crash and burn and stop somewhere between $250 million to $300 million WW.

    • Don’t you wish the studio would be straight with us and give the marketing cost along with the production budget? I want them to show us exactly how much dough they put into it.

      • Onslaught

        Oh definitely. I’ve always wondered how much marketing costs were. Back in 2007, 50 million to market something was pretty high. Now look where we are today. WB literally just spent 125 million, if not 150 million to promote a dud.

        And it’s a shame too. Green Lantern showed the strength of its property by pulling in 53 million despite the bad reviews. If it was a good movie on the level of say, Thor, it could have pulled in similar #’s and be on its way to being franchised like Thor. And it would have opened the door for other DC properties.

        Transparency is not in the studios’ interest. I believe WB wrote off certain Harry Potter films as a loss through massive loopholes even though the movies clearly grossed in the range of 900 million+, so they were most certainly not a loss in any way imaginable.

  3. I guess 52 million isnt too bad for one of the worst reviewed movies of the year so far, I usually make my own judgement but with that much bad coming from people I decided to save my cash and wait till it comes home, plus for some reason I was never interested to being with, none of the trailers really impressed me. But I guess not enough people were interested.

    With Cars 2 already getting good reviews (and this is a cash cow no matter what) coming out this week and Transformers next week, GL has too much competition to really keep going IMO

    Still hope to see Super 8 sometime, really want to but havent had the time

      • EM

        Contrary to popular consensus, I love the original Cars. Even so, the previews and plot descriptions leave me unenthusiastic for the sequel. But although I haven’t loved every single Pixar feature, I’ve never seen one I would call bad. So, Pixar gets at least one free pass from me. I’ll be seeing Cars 2, no matter what. But I might just avoid all reviews until after I’ve seen it. 🙂