Box office update: 'Green Lantern' wins Friday with $21.6 million


Image Credit: Francois Duhamel

UPDATE: Green Lantern wins the weekend with $52.6 million: Check out the full weekend box office report here.

ORIGINAL POST: As expected, Green Lantern lit up the box office yesterday: According to early estimates, the emerald-superhero romp grossed $21.6 million. By comparison, Thor — another film about a cosmic superhero without much mainstream name recognitiongrossed $25.7 million on its opening day last month. Since reviews haven’t been too kind, I’m betting Lantern will experience a bit of a drop-off on the way to a weekend gross in the area of $55 million. (It also grossed $3.4 million in midnight screenings on Thursday.) It’s hardly a disappointment, although the PG-13 film will have an uphill battle trying to recoup its $200 million budget. It’ll be interesting to whether Lantern‘s foreign grosses can bolster the film’s overall performance. (Never underestimate the cross-cultural appeal of colorful, semi-abstract space battles.)

The weekend’s other new wide release, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, came in second with an estimated $6.4 million. That’s almost identical to the Friday gross of Jim Carrey’s last broad comedy, Yes Man, which bowed in December 2008 to a $6.5 million. It’s not a great opening for the PG-rated comedy — perhaps parents thought their kids would rather watch funny Green Lantern aliens than funny penguins? — and barring a weekend groundswell, expect the film to gross about $18 million for the weekend. Could it be that we’ve finally reached the end of March of the Penguins‘ long tail? (Pray for Happy Feet 2.)

Last week’s first-place finisher Super 8 fell to third place with $6 million, bringing it to a total gross of $57.5 million. That’s about a decline of about 50 percent from last Friday — not bad for a film that features zero attractive actors wearing ridiculous costumes. It’ll be interesting to see if Super 8 can jump ahead of Mr. Popper’s in the next couple of days – since both films feature emotionally absent dads learning to reconnect with their children, they could both surge on Father’s Day.

Rounding out the top five, X-Men: First Class fell 55 percent from last Friday, with an estimated $3.4 gross. Nipping at its heels in a race for fourth place, The Hangover Part II earned $3.2 million — a decent 44 percent drop-off for the comedy sequel, which has already grossed $226 million domestically. Both films should finish the weekend with about $10-12 million.

On the indie scene, The Art of Getting By grossed a just-okay $296,000 in 610 theaters. Conversely, The Tree of Life continued to grow with $323,000 on a mere 114 theaters. Hey, when you think about it, The Tree of Life is sort of the art-film version of Green Lantern: Daddy issues, cosmos-spanning narrative, and, er, I’m pretty sure Brad Pitt wears a ring?

Be sure to check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report! Here’s your Friday top five:

1. Green Lantern — $21.6 mil
2. Mr. Popper’s Penguins — $6.4 mil
3. Super 8 — $6 mil
4. X-Men: First Class — $3.4 mil
5. The Hangover Part II — $3.2 mil

Box Office Preview: Will Green Lantern see a lot of green?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Comments (147 total) Add your comment
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  • m1


    • LMFAO

      America loves crap.

      • Tom


      • gazmo

        This movie couldn’t even scrounge up 2 minutes of footage to make a decent trailer (and I LOVE comic book movies).

      • LOL

        Honestly, did anyone watch any of the trailers and thought “Wow, this looks good!”? If you answer “Yes” you’ll probably have bigger problems later in life.

      • DDubSolider

        Yep. I love comic book movies…but this wuz horrible! As was Green Hornet EPIC FAIL

      • Jason C.

        People need to stop with the America loves crap BS. There’s a reason Britain is developing a copy of Jersey Shore and the rest of the world buys as many if not more movie tickets to movies like Transformers 2 (btw, India produces the most movies in the world and have you seen some of the crap that comes out of there?!): It’s because there are people all over the world who love crap! Don’t debase American tastes based on movie consumption. I’m sure everyone has a movie or two that’s pure excrement on celluloid they love, that’s the way things are.

      • LOL

        Yes Jason, but you see, I hold America to a higher standard. They got it right earlier this summer with Fast Five, and then reverted to their old habits. It’s simply tough love, I will not rest until Hollywood is making more quality films like Fast Five.

      • Brett

        “Quality films like ‘Fast Five'” is an oxymoron.

      • Ryan

        I meant to say there are more films from 2010. There are none on the list from 2011 and I don’t think there ever will be.

      • vickil03

        For seeking I’nterracial L’ove , i think i have the best choice
        —-βlαck’whitе’Cùpid. СòM——it’s where to- meet black, white, gorgeous, beautiful for romance and- enduring relationships ! – it’s the best place for s”eeking int’erracial love.which gives you a chance to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the at’tractive s’ingles and treat you like a king or Queen. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends.
        ————-Next weekend, just go see Fast Five, even if you’ve already seen it. I’m on my 23rd viewing, and it never gets old. Show these studio execs you will only pay to see quality films.

    • LOL

      Fast Five is still in theatres, frankly, people would have been better off going to see that again. I would be so great if Fast Five would have gotten to number one again, just to show Hollywood that we want quality films. Come on people, don’t prove you’re dolts by making crap like Green Flashlight number one. Next weekend, just go see Fast Five, even if you’ve already seen it. I’m on my 23rd viewing, and it never gets old. Show these studio execs you will only pay to see quality films.

      • Sinestro

        Vin Diesel, I didn’t know you knew how to use a computer!! Good for you!!

      • Rowsy


        I was pointing out his name


      • SaM

        I LOVE ABBA

      • Mark

        Honestly as crappy as GL’s villians were, I refuse to support Vin Diesel’s career. Luckily, some idiots wholeheartedly support the hacks in Hollywood. At least Ryan Reynolds looks good without a shirt. That was worth $7.50

      • LOL

        You can keep your girly Ryan Reynolds, I’ll stick with a real man like Vin Diesel.

      • LOL

        Vin Diesel tastes great!

      • TONY


        YOU’RE A MORON

      • Brett

        Don’t prove you’re dolts by going to see Green Lantern. By all means, prove you’re a dolt by going to see “Fast Five” 23 times.

      • tom

        I has von dutch t-shirt and ready to par-tay

    • David

      I won’t pray for Happy Feet 2!! all other animations other than Pixar are pure pop trash!!

  • Chelsea Allen

    the headline says green hornet

    • gazmo

      That’s because watching it is like being stung in the @$$ (you know . . . where guys keep their wallet).

  • Gupta

    ummm the healdine i clicked on says Green HORNET #1….GOOD JOB EW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Frank

    Green Hornet! Total fail, EW. Total fail.

    • gazmo

      Does anyone else think that “Total Fail” sounds as ignorant as “So Fun” and about twice as smart as mixing up your hornets and lanterns???

      • Alan


  • JD

    Too bad the movie isn’t good. Glad for Super 8 though, hope it continues to do well, though it already made back it’s production budget. Already saw it twice, might see it again…and I NEVER do that…

    • Amy

      It bothers me that Green Lantern will be a bigger hit than Super 8. The latter is CLEARLY a better movie. I just don’t understand the audience’s fascination with crap. Sure Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are hot but it amazes me that people would pay money to see two gorgeous people who can’t act, over a genuinely well-made movie like Super 8. Just sad.

      • Rowsy

        Amy, it’s the sign of the times. I’m glad there are still some people with common sense and good taste. I do hope Super 8 keeps its momentum.

      • *eye roll*

        Oh, for heaven’s sake. Some people just want some fun nostalgic escapism, and while Super 8 looks great, Green Lantern appeals to a lot of people (not all, of course) who love comic books and superheroes and the Justice League. It doesn’t mean these people think Green Lantern is going to be a high-quality movie or better than other movies…it just appeals to their particular interests. I plan to see Green Lantern at some point even though I’m quite aware that it doesn’t have great reviews because I like Green Lantern and I’m interested in seeing a live-action version for once instead of animated movies (which are great, but I’m curious to see it in a different format). And you know what? I’m also interested in seeing Super 8. Even if I weren’t, movie elitism and snobbery is really obnoxious and so pointless. “Oh, what is the world coming to? Everyone loves crap and I alone am the arbiter of taste! Screw real victims of tragedy – how TRAGIC that summer popcorn movies might be popular! Oh, where are my smelling salts?” I’m pretty sure people are allowed to have differences in taste and priorities. Different strokes and all that. You know what movie was an absolute piece of sh*t in every possible way but yet I deliberately paid money to see it and then own the DVD? 10,000 BC. That movie was unbelievably awful, particularly since I studied paleoanthropology and archaeology in grad school…yet it appealed to me anyway because of the subject matter and the amusement of watching such inaccurate crazy BS. It’s a terrible movie, but I like it. Who really cares?

      • Jason

        Eye Roll, you have the right to like terrible movies. Most of us choose not to. Good for you.

      • STFU

        Jason, you have the right to act like a pretentious pri**. Seriously, it’s the same every week. People complaining about a big budget movie that actually makes money. Oh no!!! When did this trend start? What’s worse, me paying to see Green Lantern, or you people bitc***g about it?

      • Jason

        STFU, if that is your real name, critics and pretentious pri**s loved Thor, Fast Five, Super 8, and X-Men. We just didn’t like your big budget, dumb, fanboy, crap flick.

  • Kyle

    This is their worst headline fail in a while. I wonder how long it’s going to take for them to realize it. EPIC Failure EW.

  • Andrew

    Green Hornet? Last time I checked, EW, that was just released on DVD & Blu-Ray, NOT in the theaters!

    • Alan

      They say Hornet because GL was a huge disappiontment just like Green Hornet was.

      • Justin

        I actually liked Green Hornet. Very fun to watch!

  • Jon

    So X-Men opens with the same numbers, with a smaller budget, and it was titled underwhelming yet this film gets “hardly a disappointment”. Good to know

    • erin

      Obviously this movie, along with Ryan Reynolds, is one of EW’s pets, so they’re going to put as much positive spin on it as they can.

      • ASDF

        Both EW and this movie are products of Warner Bros, so of course they are going to be pushing it.

      • gazmo

        ASDF: your comment is just Daffy . . . and Looney!!!

    • jets

      exactly Jon! Also Green Lantern had way more hype and merch tie-in then X-Men. I think X-Men FC underperformance is due to bad marketing, lack of star power, and bad taste from the last two X-films. Green Lantern apparently just isn’t very good. I think whichever movie comes first out the gate as the “summer movie” wins. This year it was Thor, but if any of the other superhero movies had traded dates with Thor they’d probably have the Box office numbers switched as well.

      • Shaun

        I actually saw “Green Lantern” earlier today. It was pretty good. Much better than some of the elitist film critics would have you believe.

      • Lia

        So, do you listen to all movie critics to tell you if a flick is good or not? Green Lantern is just a fun summer movie. People need to calm down and go see boring movies that reviewers like. Sheesh!

      • Woot

        I need to Lia? Gee, I wasn’t planning on seeing a “boring movie,” but now that you told me that I need to, I guess I have no choice… CURSE YOU LIA!!!!!!!!!

    • Jael

      Exactly I find it funny how everyone news headline was about how much money x men was going to gross and how it’s underwhelming compared to the other films and blah, blah, blah.. To me personally the green latern looks too C.G.I. I know a lot of movies have C.G.I but something is off about this one…

      • Brian

        There’s really not a way around using CGI for GL. The story does demand it.

    • Phil

      In my opinion, X-Men First Class was WORLDS better than Green Lantern, and I honestly expected it to be the other way around. XFC didn’t have a slew of Hollywood A-Listers in it, but as an ensemble, they made the film work on levels both humorous, as well as intelligent story telling. GL sadly relies all on the well scuplted shoulders of Ryan Reynolds. I have seen numerous previews for GL and I never even knew Angela Bassett or Tim Robbins was in it (and after seeing their flat performances I now know why.) I really hope as far as the comc book movies this summer, more people go check out XFC because I really did enjoy it. For me, XFC, then Thor, the GL ina far third place so far. Green Lantern’s vast cast of aliens & even the other Earthen characters, they just don’t make you care about them like the characters depicted in Xmen First Class did. Xemn First Class was a pleasant surprise and UNDERWELMING would be the last word I’d use to describe that film.

  • krayzeman

    Im actually hoping this movie doesnt do well so DC can change their strategy and stop trying to copy Marvel as far as putting out movies. At least Marvel has a focus with their properties in them acknowleging that they exist in the same universe when they lead up to the Avengers film. Warner Bros. wants to act like this isnt the case with their characters…smh

    • Demond

      That is so true.DC will always fail.

    • Brian

      But…they’re already not copying Marvel. DC’s heroes exist in separate universes, and there’s another separate movie universe for their JLA.

  • Bob

    Green hornet or lantern, does it really matter?? Both are pretty awful

    • LOL


      • Sith Lord J

        I guess the male audience wants to see Blake in the Star Sapphire outfit for the Squeal.

  • Dominic

    It speaks volumes about the poor taste in cinema for most moviegoers when a film with a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes (Green Lantern) makes more money in its opening day than the opening day for a film with an 83% (Super 8). I guess most audiences don’t care for quality anymore. They will just watch whatever is thrown on the screen in front of them, no matter how bad it is. Why else do you think The Hangover 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 each made over $200 million domestically. I’m glad that I spend my money on films that have both good quality and entertainment value, such as Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, X-Men: First Class and Super 8.

    • LOL

      Best post ever on this site ^^^^^

      • STFU

        No, more like most ignorant post on this site. Look, I understand if someone goes to see a movie and then decides they don’t like it and sounds off about it. Fair enough. What bugs the Hell out of me are people who are too lazy to go out and find an opinion of their own so they start quoting what they read on Rotten Tomatoes. Basically snide people who enjoy complaining just to see their words on the screen. You know who you are. If liking crap means going to see big budget, event movies, we all have been doing it for decades. Why complain about it now? Now please excuse me while I admire what I just typed. *Sigh*

    • Shaun

      J.J. Abrams’ last film “Star Trek” also had a high RT rating: 94%. I am looking forward to seeing “Super 8.” Regarding “Green Lantern,” it is actually pretty good. The scenes dealing with the Lanterns are the best. It is half a great movie.

    • m1

      Obvious film snob is obvious. Please watch the films before you judge.

      • Ghost of Gene Siskel

        Obvious dipsh*t is obvious.

      • gazmo

        Repetitious m1 is repetitious.
        Please think of something to say before you post.

      • poop

        If he saw the films before he judged, then that would mean he too would have bad taste and would watch whatever was thrown on the screen the screen in front of him, and that would mean he was a hypocrite. Come on guys.

      • Troy

        Don’t mind m1, he is just a 12 year old snot with a level of undeveloped intellect, trying hard to prove he is a film enthusiast by reading and repeating what film critics say.. It’s sad really

      • Lia

        Good one!

    • Alan


    • ignacio

      i think its sad you go and see movies based on what other people say, i mean, go and see it for yourself and you be the judge not other people you dont even know, sad sad sad,

  • irwan

    well, if GL does flop, in terms of failing to recoup its humongous budget, maybe this would mark the last time Ryan Reynolds playing super hero characters or be in comic book-related movies. just count em so far: Blade Trinity, X-Men Origins Wolverine, Paper Man, Green Lantern and the upcoming adaptation of the afterlife cop saga (called something – PD).
    it’s not that i can’t stand the guy, it’s just that he seems to be overexposed and overly used in this genre.

    • gazmo

      After his career crashes and burns, maybe Ryan Reynolds could take over Anthony Weiner’s (currently unused) twitter account, so his fans don’t forget him!!!

  • outside agitator

    I’d rather marry Billie Jean King,
    than watch a flick about a silly green ring

    • gazmo

      On your wedding night with Billy Jean King,

      a Lantern would be the very last thing,

      (you’d want)

      • Lia

        Too funny!

      • gazmo

        Thank you, dear Lia!!
        Your recognition of humor among the posts puts you at the top of my list for Christmas morning

  • mark in nyc

    If I had a power ring in real life I would use it to make a better movie.

  • joe

    Someone wrote that DC will always fail…ummm, hello?? Dark Knight and Batman Begins anyone? but i admit, GL was rather boring.

    • Manna

      I guess they’re only good at making movies about normal people (people without superpowers). When it comes to their characters with god-tier superpowers, they kind of get carried away or look for an excuse for the superhero to lose.
      Ie: Superman can’t beat up Lex Luther. Because it’s against his morals, and apparently killing LL won’t bring justice.
      Despite the fact LL always escapes and in his deeds hurts/kills hundreds of people everytime he’s free -__-

      • Brian

        Batman also refused to kill Joker and Scarecrow.
        Just because certain Marvel heroes are willing to play judge, jury, and executioner, doesn’t mean they’re more heroic than DC’s. IMO, they’re actually less so.
        Though I do agree, they need to power up Superman’s enemies. He’s got some great ones, they just need to use them.

      • Brian

        Unless, of course, those heroes are commissioned by the government, like Cap, who’s a soldier. But if they’re just vigilantes, they shouldn’t be killing IMO.

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