Green Lantern Lacks Power in $52.7 Million Box Office Debut

Warner Bros. held nothing back in marketing Green Lantern over the past month, yet their efforts didn’t register in the film’s paltry box office debut. Super 8, meanwhile, was able to steal the top spot from aging Jim Carrey whose box office returns aren’t the surefire bet they once were.

Green Lantern blasted into over 3,800 theaters this weekend, over 2,700 of which were 3D-equipped. Yet the B-list superhero could only muster $52.7 million with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively as its stars. Critics weren’t impressed leading up to the Friday debut as Green Lantern’s Rotten Tomatoes score was well into rotten territory. A steep 22 percent drop from Friday to Saturday proved word-of-mouth from those Friday screenings was either non-existent or skewed heavily toward the negative end.

Marvel Studios must be riding cloud nine knowing that Thor and X-Men: First Class, neither of which featured a headlining star as recognizable as Reynolds, beat Green Lantern in their debut. In fact, both Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk and both Fantastic Four films opened higher than Green Lantern through their first three days in theaters.

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg’s Super 8 stole second place in its second week of release. Its $21.3 million haul was a 40 percent drop from its opening weekend and has now pulled in $72.8 million since release. The family matters and science fiction mash-up should easily cross $100 million by the time its theatrical run comes to an end.

Fox was banking on Jim Carrey and a band of penguins to attract the family crowd this weekend but have to be disappointed with Mr. Popper’s Penguins third place debut. Carrey used to be a lock for big openings but this $18.2 million debut might make studios think twice before doling out the big bucks to him.

Taking fourth place was Fox’s X-Men: First Class, the critics choice for best superhero movie of the summer thus far. It earned $11.5 million and now stands at $119.9 million through just over two weeks in theaters. That’s a low for the franchise, but is likely considered a win for the studio given the lack of star power on the marquee.

The Hangover Part II continues to play strong and secured fifth place with $9.6 million, a 45 percent drop from last weekend. It has now crossed $230 million at the domestic box office but still trails the $277.3 million the original earned.

Kung Fu Panda 2 came in sixth $8.7 million and now stands at $143.3 million since its release nearly a month ago. That may seem like a lot, but the original topped $215 million. Bridesmaids, whose Blu-ray and DVD just went up for pre-order, came in seventh with $7.5 million.

Johnny Depp and his mates in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides washed up in eighth place with $6.2 million. It has now crossed $220 million domestically and over $731 million internationally. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris claimed the ninth spot with $5.2 million after a slight expansion, while Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer enjoyed its final frame in the top 10 with a $2.2 million haul and painful 63 percent drop from its opening weekend.

Next weekend, the kids and Pixar fans will flock to Cars 2 while adults looking for some R-rated laughs will set their sights on Bad Teacher.

– Dan Bradley

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