Box Office: Green Lantern is Neither Darkest Nor Brightest on Opening Weekend

$300m. That’s the number that came out earlier this week for Green Lantern‘s price tag. Warner Brothers were backing this horse all the way to the finish line, and though it crossed first, it didn’t exactly lap the competition. Most analysts expected the latest DC/WB comic book adaptation to rake in between $50-55m for the weekend, and that’s exactly where it fell, right smack dab in the middle of that range, in fact. Though that’s not a stunning haul for a film that cost this much, it does fit it in rather nicely with the other DC/WB properties’ opening weekends.

In fact, Green Lantern comes in at #4 on opening weekends chart for DC/WB behind The Dark Knight ($158.4m opening weekend), Watchmen ($55.2m opening weekend), and Batman Forever ($52.7m opening weekend). To put that in context, Green Lantern had a bigger opening this weekend than any of the Superman films and four of the big Batman films. While that seems mighty impressive on the surface, you have to sit back and take that price tag into perspective. With this opening weekend and the continued onslaught of big Summer films hitting audiences, it doesn’t look good for Green Lantern to overtake that $300m. Not in domestic box office, anyway, and that’s the amount most at WB will be looking at. It remains to be seen what Green Lantern will do in overseas markets, but it seems like the kind of quirky, sci-fi film that could perform quite well.

J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 had a decent drop here in its second weekend. It was enough to overtake the debuting Mr. Popper’s Penguins, which didn’t exactly light the world on fire with its opening take. The family film could have decent longevity. Jim Carrey has a history of smaller openings that turn into big overall numbers. 2005’s Fun With Dick and Jane opened to $14.3m and ended up generating $110.3m before its domestic run was over. The same could happen for Mr. Popper’s Penguins, though the slate of family-aimed entertainment (Cars 2 and Zookeeper just to name a few), will likely push the film off to the side quickly.

And here’s your weekly Midnight in Paris and Tree of Life report. The Woody Allen film continues to make its presence known in the top 10, this weekend pulling in an additional $5.2m. It seems only days away from becoming Allen’s biggest film in over 25 years. Only three of his films have made North of $30m in domestic box office, 1977’s Annie Hall with $38.2m, 1979’s Manhattan with $39.9m, and 1986’s Hannah and Her Sisters with $40m.

Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, on the other hand, is getting slower moving on its weekly roll-out and subsequent box office haul. It came in #12 on this weekend’s charts making $1.1m on 114 screens. That’s not a bad per screen average, $9781 per, to be precise. In the coming weeks, Tree of Life‘s release window will look to broaden, and the film could find itself inching its way up the charts.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Green Lantern – $52.6m NEW
  2. Super 8 – $21.2m (-40.1%) $72.7m total
  3. Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $18.2m NEW
  4. X-Men: First Class – $11.5m (-52.3%) $119.9m total
  5. The Hangover Part II – $9.6m (-45.5%) $232.6m total
  6. Kung Fu Panda 2 – $8.7m (-47.4%) $143.3m total
  7. Bridesmaids – $7.4m (-25.6%) $136.8m total
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $6.2m (-43%) $220.3m total
  9. Midnight in Paris -$5.2m (-10.2%) $21.7m total
  10. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer – $2.2m (-63.1%) $11.1m total

With these numbers, the weekend is looking at $142.2m total, up from last weekend’s Super 8-led haul, but still moderately tame for the Summer months. The same weekend last year saw Toy Story 3 launch with $110.3m, while that also was the weekend we saw Jonah Hex crash and burn with $5.3m. And what would a box office or Reject Report be without me bringing up the colossal failure that was Jonah Hex?

Next weekend sees PIXAR’s next film unleashed to the world. Cars 2 revs its engines and Bad Teacher looks to bring in some money through counter-programming. Don’t expect Toy Story 3-level immediate success for Cars 2, but it’s definitely going to be the movie to beat.

We’ll be back on Thursday night to see how the weekend is shaping up.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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