Home News 10 Days that Shook The World What does GREEN LANTERN’s box-office mean for DC Entertainment?

What does GREEN LANTERN’s box-office mean for DC Entertainment?


Meanwhile, back at the box office, GREEN LANTERN debuted at #1 with $52.6 million, less than THOR and even X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. As the Times put it: “An all-hands-on-deck effort by Warner Brothers to turn “Green Lantern” into a box office superpower fizzled over the weekend.” With a budget of a reported $300 million, dreadful reviews and a big Friday-to-Saturday drop-off, GL’s task as the advance guard for a new generation of movies based on DC characters has been made much more difficult.

The film did best among older males, Icv2 writes:

As might be expected for a comic book movie that apparently had some trouble transferring its comic market popularity to mainstream audiences, Green Lantern’s opening weekend moviegoers were primarily male (64%) and older (63% over 25, with just 19% under 18 in spite of the film’s “PG-13” rating). Green Lantern could get a bounce on Father’s Day, and might finish better than the $52.7 million estimate, but the drop-off from Friday’s $21.6 million to Saturday’s $16.8 is quite troubling. After getting off to a strong start at Thursday midnight shows (see “Green Lantern Solid at Midnight Shows”), which helped fuel Friday’s numbers, it appears that those most interested in seeing the film saw it right away, and that word-of-mouth did help the film sustain its solid opening day. Audiences gave the movie a mediocre “B” CinemaScore.

GL was also the latest in the ongoing fizzle of 3D films, with 2D showings outpacing the 3D versions, part of a national trend that will hopefully spell the end of this 3D craze. (For the record we made a point of seeing GL in 2D.)

Todd Allen has a detailed analysis of how it all rolled out:

The expectations coming out of Warners were pretty clearly to replicate an Iron Man level franchise. The rationale seemingly was “if Marvel can do this with a B-character, so can we.” And they dumped a rumored $100 million into making this into a megahit. The first question might be “at what point did this project look like it was gelling enough to warrant that kind of marketing,” so we may just have out of control expectations driving the project before the first script was written.

And Nikki Finke gets the jump on the blame game:

Hollywood is expecting director Martin Campbell to be made the scapegoat: he’s already publicly suggested he won’t be back if there’s a sequel. Some point to Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer who also writes the Green Lantern comics and was integrally involved (reputedly even the deciding vote) on every big decision. And he’s respected but also controversial in some quarters. But Warner Bros execs Jeff Robinov and Greg Silverman should have made sure this movie was much better than a score of only 21% positive on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to Thor’s 77% and X-Men’s 87%). Looks like there’s plenty of blame to go around. “I’m not going to tell you this is the greatest movie,” a studio exec admits to me about why the film wasn’t better. The problem sounds like it was filmmaking by committee.

All of this very much leaves the state of DC Entertainment’s West Coast office of great interest to industry watchers. While the print relaunch in September has been getting the headlines of late, it’s the Hollywood connection that’s DC’s real value to Warner Bros.: an entire West Coast development office has been in place for months, featuring all the editors shipped over from the New York offices, busily developing ideas for adaptation to various media. Green Lantern was the biggest and most obvious choice to make inroads on expanding the WB superhero portfolio beyond The BIg Two, but this has to be seen as a setback.

While some may be quick to point the finger at Johns (director Campbell has already washed his hands of the whole thing), I’d like to point out that Warners has a pretty good track record for screwing up things that did not have a fierce, powerful guardian like Joel Silver, Christopher Nolan, or J.K. Rowling:

• Following the first two Batman movies, the series went off the rails with Joel Schumacher and bat-nipples culminating in the legendarily nauseating BATMAN AND ROBIN.

• STEEL. Nuff said.


• While SUPERMAN RETURNS can rightly be pointed to as a baffling remake, it was far better than the horrifying ideas that Warners batted around in the interim: Nicolas Cage, McG, Superman vs Batman, and so on.

• Maybe that Jack Black Green Lantern would have had more broad appeal? OR…maybe not. Robert Smigel was interviewed about it at Vanity Fair:

Well, for a lot of people, the version that was made didn’t work. That’s what makes your comedic version such a curiosity.

I haven’t seen it, so I can’t speak to how the movie itself works. I know that when the idea was pitched to me to do a comedy about Green Lantern I did a quick review of the specifics of Green Lantern. And I thought, Well, of course this could be a comedy. Basically just the premise that the wrong guy gets the ring and can do all kinds of goofy visual jokes—because the visuals are so potentially ridiculous. What appealed to me about it on a comedic level was that, in order to be a superhero, this requires no physical skill or talent. All it requires is owning this ring. Automatically, that’s a comedic premise. I was told they’re doing it as a comedy; that’s the way they’re going, so I didn’t really think about whether this was wrong thing to do. I just knew that this was the movie they were making, and when I thought about the potential as a comedy, I felt like, yeah, I can do this.

• JONAH HEX. Brrrrrrr…

Of course, there have been great hits at WB like Harry Potter, The Matrix, Batman, and now the Hangover films. All of these have strong producers behind them.

As I said in my review, GREEN LANTERN wasn’t quite as bad as that 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes suggests, but it is also clearly not a movie that someone made from love—but rather a corporate exercise in selling soda and toys. Despite this, Warners isn’t going to give up on superheroes. The money from the BATMAN movies alone will guarantee that they’ll keep looking for the next pot of gold. And Disney/Marvel’s ongoing success with their comics franchise movies means that WB has to keep trying, if only because these two studios are insanely competitive.

Scuttlebutt suggests that director Campbell will be tagged with GL’s disappointing returns, despite the fact that he was never really attached to it. But that’s Chinatown. Johns still has many allies and friends, including Diane Nelson, so we’ll see how that rolls out. I think the onus is really on Warner Bros. itself to take a deep look inside and ask itself why they make so many crappy superhero movies.

  1. “Scuttlebutt suggests that director Campbell will be tagged with GL’s disappointing returns, despite the fact that he was never really attached to it. But that’s Chiantown. Johns still has many allies and friends, including Diane Nelson, so we’ll see how that rolls out.”

    Well the marketing guys have already briefed the press on why it’s not their fault. The comic guys will brief the press to say the Hollywood guys weren’t faithful to the material and the Hollywood guys will brief the press to say the comic guys has too much influence and were too close to the source material.

    The more immediate impact is that this franchise is still-born and that will make Superman even more important plus even more desperate attempts to convince people that they really really want to see a Flash movie.

  2. Oh and the most telling stat is not the box office it’s the attendance figures – fewer people went to see this than Ghost Rider or Daredevil.

  3. “GL’s task as the advance guard for a new generation of movies based on DC characters has been made much more difficult.”

    It’s a much easier task if the movie doesn’t suck. I saw it. It wasn’t outright terrible but it was very uneven. My feeling is that they could have made three made three movies out of it: #1 the origin story with Hector Hammond as the Big Bad, #2 take GL off Earth more and uses Sinestro as the Big Bad, defeated at the end, down but not out for #3 where he comes back in conjunction with Paralax.

    But, the movie that hit the screen felt like it was originally going to be in keeping withe tone of the first trailer and got retooled when DC got the reaction from that trailer.

  4. I have an idea — instead of them looking for who to point a finger at, maybe they should start by not making a film for $300 million!!

    Plenty of recent blockbusters have been made for $150 million, half of the reported budget of Green Lantern (Iron Man was made for $140 million). If the movie was made with a budget like that, it would likely come close to making its money back in the theaters and a profit on dvd and on-demand.

  5. Hopefully (but doubtfully), DCE and WB will learn (or, RElearn) that when you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to almost no one. Ironically, the science fiction stuff in GL was the best part of it, while the forced, awful romance with yet ANOTHER inconsequential pretzel-like female lead dragged the movie at every point.

  6. Not sure why anyone was surprised by this. Seriously. It doesn’t take a genius to understand a second-tier superhero flick without a major star isn’t going to (ahem) fly. “Iron Man” had Downey, Jr., who made the movie. This Reynolds guy is a chunk of beef with the equivalent personality.

  7. I saw it this weekend and it was pretty bad. I think it was more of a script problem and maybe even a casting problem. The actors were good enough but there was zero chemistry. I’m reminded of Michael Cain in Jaws 4. He was great, but it was Jaws 4.

    Another problem was that they didn’t do anything remotely intersting with the ring constructs. An old time car a gun and a sword. That was pretty unimaginative. And I’m not sure that DC will be excited to do any other characters other than Superman and Batman after this. At least not with the same budget. I mean, I hope they get back on the horse but I won’t be holding my breath.

    And for those who were wondering about that female lantern with the exposed belly and cleavage? They only covered her up for the commercials. In the movie she was still exposed.

  8. “Ironically, the science fiction stuff in GL was the best part of it, while the forced, awful romance with yet ANOTHER inconsequential pretzel-like female lead dragged the movie at every point.”

    Had to have a female love intrest in it – ever heard of “not-gay”?

  9. I think WB and DC are in a bind because they don’t really understand what to do with their characters as a company.

    Ty Templeton’s bit about Green Lantern being a popular character when engaged top talent works on him and an often cancelled character otherwise. This is true for all of DC’s line-up.

    After Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern the intrinsic silliness to many of DC’s characters becomes a nearly insurmountable sell for a broad audience.

    GL should have been an easier pitch, but the adherence to the accumulated trivia and continuity got in the way of giving us a story worth watching.

  10. Jim H., that $300M figure that’s floating around for GL supposedly includes marketing costs. That’s probably not in the other numbers you cited. GL’s movie production was supposedly about $200M. I haven’t seen an “official” number, though, so it may indeed be higher. Nobody is claiming it’s lower, which you’d expect after a soft opening weekend for an expensive film.

  11. While I was entertained by the movie, it clearly had a lot of things that needed to have been different. That tired old “romance has to be the core of the story” crap for one thing. I mean yeah, it was there with the comic, but it wasn’t center stage and the end all be all of the story. Had they shortened those scenes, that alone would have probably offered a better movie. Those moments of “talkie talkie” was like putting on the breaks every time the movie got going good.

    I don’t think it was a lack of effort from fans giving it a try. I think it was just that Hollywood did their usual thing of putting out whatever they want and fans reacting to it by spending their money elsewhere. The bad reviews hurt as well as there are those out there that can not think for themselves and do listen to these “reviewers”.

    Over all it wasn’t too bad of a movie as far as entertainment goes. It could have been many times better, but it wasn’t. The sad thing is, the low first weekend draw will not matter in the end if they get back what they put into it. I figure they will eventually. Hmm, I wonder if the crappy figure Mattel dumped out might have hurt the movie a little? Hehe, yeah Mattel bashing.

  12. I think that people who talk about it being a crappy film and that’s why it failed miss the point – in the time period we are talking about, the two most impact factors are the marketing campaign (confused) and the in-built audience (not enough people gave a shit about the film – tied to marketing and maybe the premise itself). Going *forward* the fact that is a crappy film will ensure it has no legs but I think the factors I mentioned above are more important for the friday-saturday drop-off.

  13. “GL was also the latest in the ongoing fizzle of 3D films, with 2D showings outpacing the 3D versions, part of a national trend that will hopefully spell the end of this 3D craze.”

    This is the best part! :D

  14. Just another perfect example of the alleged ‘corporate synergy’ between WB and DCE. They keep proving that they’re really The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

  15. After Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern the intrinsic silliness to many of DC’s characters becomes a nearly insurmountable sell for a broad audience.
    Given that she’s never managed to sell more than 1 monthly comic a month and even then at much-reduced levels from her male counterparts, I’m not even sure I’d include Wonder Woman on that list. IMO, Lynda Carter’s series rose largely on the fact that she could make the suit look good (one of very few superhero actors who could) and she had enough natural screen charm to sell it.

    Anyway, I’m a GL fan and I’m almost totally uninterested in this movie mostly because I’m not that invested in watching a guy fight a bunch of CGI. There’s absolutely no sense of reality to anything happening in the trailers. The weird suit doesn’t help. I’m not sure I’m sold on the live-action Thor, but at least Chris Hemsworth looks like he’s physically on screen and not like a head pasted on a CGI model.

  16. Joe Harris says, “The bad reviews hurt as well as there are those out there that can not think for themselves and do listen to these “reviewers”.”

    I’m not sure what to make of this. I’m a comic book/movie fan, but I only have so much money and so much time. Of course I listen to the reviews, especially when they are so overwhelmingly consistent (and bad). Should I instead solely on the marketing campaign? That makes no sense to me.

  17. I feel DC’s movies fail (Nolan’s Batman films excluded) when they try to “Marvel-ize” them. The romantic subplot, Daddy issues, mopey Hal doubting his ability to be a hero, and tenuous childhood connection to the villain, all seemed to be forced into the movie from other (better) Marvel films. I am not a devout follower of the comics, but everyone says the hook for Green Lantern is “space cop”, and I agree. I would have liked to see Hal given the ring within the first 15 minutes, then whisk him off to OA for training and his first space adventure.

    I thought the film made for an entertaining two hours, although I have no desire to see it again or own it on DVD. I liked Reynolds and Skaarsgard, and loved Strong as Sinestro. The constructs used were as cool as they should be and realized well, and the actual GL stuff worked, I thought.

    The potential is there for an amazing sequel, pitting Hal against Sinestro, I just hope the movie is enough of a success to justify it.

  18. Geoff Johns is a gifted comics storyteller — and this movie had (for me) almost none of his stamp on it, except for the first 5 minutes and bits and pieces here and there. I just can’t imagine him not seeing the plot holes in this. But I’m glad some GL fans loved it and finally got their movie. Hope you get a sequel — that was def. Johns’ Sinestro and he was perfect.

    But come on, even die-hard GL fans: Kilowog trains him in FIVE MINUTES?? It didn’t even merit a montage?

    and in defense of Ms. Lively, she was excellent in ‘The Town,’ so if she’s a bad lead, perhaps she’s only being…oh, you know the rest.

  19. Well, now that DC Entertainment has posted a loss with both the Wonder Woman pilot (reportedly $14 mill) and Green Lantern, and with the DC MMO game not setting the world on fire, I have to imagine Dianne Nelson and Johns will be answering a few questions on what their plan is.

    Nelson is the one who received the lion’s share of the credit for WB making so much off of Harry Potter. So, my guess is that’s why she’s not being mentioned right now. She has some success to point to and deserves a little faith. But Johns…my guess is he won’t have the deciding vote on the movies anymore.

    I dunno…I’m not really cheering yay or nay for more superhero movies. It seems like we’re at the saturation point now and another Iron Man type is…unlikely. Iron Man had everything fall perfectly into place. People tend to forget Downey was a tarnished star who *really* invested himself in that role. That combined with Favreau hitting on all cylinders is the X factor everyone’s missing.

  20. Does anyone have any comments on how this movie failure bodes for the re-launch of the comics line? Are those 2 distinct, separate issues? IMO DC can’t seem to do anything right in Hollywood (other than Nolan’s Batman) or in print.

  21. I really love Geoff Johns writing on the comics. I think he does a great job of writing — for the reader who already is familiar with the DCU. Shoving too much into this movie, and having all the GL lore, all at once, is just too much for someone who doesn’t love GL already. I agree with Chris who said this should have been three movies.

  22. In my opinion, they shouldn’t have done such a blatant Iron Man rip-off as far as character arc.

    Hal should have been played as a stereotypical white racist of the late ’50’s early ’60’s. The kind of guy who would call an Eskimo “Pie-face” right to his face. Then, by being forcibly injected into the diversity of the Corps, he develops respect for his own planet’s diversity. Tip of the hat to O’neil and Adams.

  23. I hate the term B characters from DC comics.The Green Lantern is an A level character that suffered from the same fate as Superman Returns ,A lackluster script. More time could have been given putting pen to paper and less depending on CGI.This is a great character that will probably now be shelved until a Justice League movie is made and that will only happen if Marvel’s Avenger’s does well next summer. As a fan I’m disappointed this character didn’t get a chance to shine.

  24. “The Green Lantern is an A level character”.

    Em.. no.. Geoff Lantern is that guy.. that guy who’s not Geoff Hornet.

  25. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & Spider-Man are “A” characters because of the mass audience awareness of those properties. Marvel got lucky with Iron Man; Green Lantern, not so much.

  26. <iHal should have been played as a stereotypical white racist of the late ’50’s early ’60’s. The kind of guy who would call an Eskimo “Pie-face” right to his face. Then, by being forcibly injected into the diversity of the Corps, he develops respect for his own planet’s diversity. Tip of the hat to O’neil and Adams.

    Because nothing spells mass-market appeal like having your character be a racist jerk.

  27. I have no idea what will happen with DC entertainment in the future but I know what i’d like them to do. Say screw it and continue what they are doing, Green Lantern is a really good movie the critics are wrong. I have no idea where the negativity comes from and why critics chose to praise the average Thor and beyond medicore X-Men over GL.

    The sheer ammount of negativity since GL was even announced has shocked me. From the start it seems people made up their minds that it was going to suck. No matter the news it was received negatively and without reason. I’ve never seen the type of venom even FF2 had people saying that it was good and it wasn’t until it came out did the people start crapping on it. For the life of me I don’t know why that is as far as blame I have no just props for everyone involved.

  28. “From the start it seems people made up their minds that it was going to suck.”

    It didn’t help that the early trailers might as well have starred Rob Schneider. Wrong tone altogether.

  29. I saw it Friday [NOTE: SPOILERS]. It’s not nearly as bad as the more hyperbolic negative reviews suggest. It was well cast, well acted (I’m not sure where all the hate for Blake Lively is coming from, she was fine IMO), and had some really nice SFX.

    Some of the action sequences (like the Hal/Sinestro sword fight) were a little unimaginative, but they weren’t terrible.

    The real issue, IMHO, was the script. It had a strong ‘created by committee’ vibe to it. Very clunky dialogue in spots, and there were a number of completely unnecessary scenes. The whole sequence with Hal going to his nephew’s b-day party felt totally irrelevant, since there were plenty of ways Hal could have been humanized that were much more integral to the plot. The double whammy of Hal’s near-crash + dead-dad flashbacks seemed way OTT, and likely prevented the Abin Sur’s landing from being integrated into that chunk of the narritive instead — which would have made for a much more exciting action setpiece (and been a more accurate depiction of GL’s classic origin as well).

    Overall, it seemed as if the screenwriters were trying to tell 1 1/2 movies worth of story (GL’s origin, plus the setup of Sinestro Corps storyline) within the confines of a single night at the movies, and wound up with a rushed, uneven mess.

    And while I understand DC trying to capture some of the buzz surrounding Marvel’s post-credits teasers, taking on that bit with Sinestro struck me as a ridiculous decision. The threat had been averted and Sinestro had supposedly come to respect Hal (if he hadn’t, why help to save his life?), so WTF was he doing messing with the yellow ring? Sinestro’s fall from grace/heel turn could (and should) have been a focal point of the sequel — but they blew all that dramatic potential just to wink at the audience. That’s just inexplicable to me.

    All that said, I’d still like to see a sequel with this cast — but with a new director (Campbell wasn’t the main problem, but if he’d had a stronger handle on things, I think that would have helped) and, most importantly, a single screenwriter/duo with a singular vision for the story and the editorial latitude to actually execute it. GL may be a ‘B’ character, but he’s one that has a lot of potential appeal to the moviegoing audience. Heck, the logline of a GL movie is essentially ‘Spider-Man meets Star Wars’, how can that not sell if positioned properly?

  30. If they wanted a love story, why not tie it to the A plot and Do GL vs. Star Sapphire right from the start? And I agree with the above about making Hal be a flat-out jerk (like he is), and letting Carol Ferris be the bitchy icy queen she is, too. A movie with two unapologetic leads might have been much more interesting.

  31. Four writers are credited with the screenplay. That’s usually a bad omen.

    In retrospect, the movie should have followed the Silver Age storyline:
    GL 1 = Hal’s origin, plus learning to use the ring on Earth. Give it a little “Greatest American Hero” feel as he tries to figure out the ring and what it can do. Give the ring speaking lines, a bit of a dry analytical wit, sort of like Alfred Pennyworth. Crank up the doubt… have him as a disgraced fighter pilot… perhaps a public fall from grace which made the news. Doubt affects Will… and gives Hal something to overcome. $50 Million or less to produce. Sign an unknown to star, to multiple pictures. Turn Amanda Waller into Nick Fury, but with more screen time. Introduce STAR Labs and other Easter eggs for the fans.

    GL 2 = Hal being summoned to Oa. Going from being a big fish on Earth to a probie in the Corps as he undergoes basic training. Again, doubt arises from inadequacy, but then Hal can save the day again when he finds the will to succeed. Sinestro is introduced as “the greatest”, and some jealousy blooms at the end of the movie. Create a love triangle between Hal, Carol, and R’amey Holl (think of the marketing possibilities!). Carol’s jealousy foreshadows her Star Sapphire origin.

    GL 3 = Pride and fall of Sinestro. Rise of the Yellow Lantern Sinestro. Various GLs turned Yellow, forcing GLs to battle compatriots. Sinestro defeated, exiled to Qward, where the allies himself with the Weaponeers. Sinestro = Lucifer.

    By this time, 2016, WBE/DCE has produced some (six?) other superhero films. Which leads to “Justice League: Crisis” where the Anti-Monitor rises, encouraging the multiple heroes to team-up to defeat the creature. (Prologue: Weaponeers battling GLs in various sectors, as each succumbs to the Anti-Monitor.) Some heroes, previously underground/in the closet, also appear, making the movie a backdoor pilot for future films showcasing other heroes. No origins needed, just show what each can do, just like X-Men: First Class. Tie in the Anti-Life Equation, to increase the threat level. Perhaps even add the anti-hero themes of Legends.

  32. Jim H. is right — The budget for GL was too high ($200 million plus another $75-$100 million marketing costs).

    In fact, it was so high, when I first saw the figure, it made me wince.

    Anyone who was expected Iron-Man like numbers for Green Lantern was kidding themselves.

  33. I’d honestly be interested in seeing what the reviews had been if Green Lantern had come out first and Thor and X-Men: First Class had come out after it. X-Men: First Class had easily as many flaws in it as Green Lantern did. I enjoyed them both pretty much equally. I absolutely think many of the flaws in Green Lantern could be tied ti the same flaws we’ve seen in all the super-hero movies (the romance angle being the weakest in all of the stories, including the Batman movies.) I feel like the first Iron Man movie worked so well because the romance plot was mostly discarded, aside from the peripheral flirting between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. I think being the first movie in a proposed series to come out so late after all these other competing movies is really where they fell short.

  34. “I hate the term B characters from DC comics.”

    Then you might want to switch to another company, because after Batman and Superman, that’s all they’ve got. Even Wonder Woman can’t get an automatic sale.

  35. “I have no idea what will happen with DC entertainment in the future but I know what i’d like them to do. Say screw it and continue what they are doing…”

    Yes, because continuing to flail around without a clue is such a solid money-making idea for them.

  36. It certainly won’t have helped that there are so many other superhero movies around this summer. But blaming the reviews is a red herring. Audiences tailed off sharply after a reasonably strong start – and that says the word of mouth wasn’t good either.

  37. Well, it’s the Green Lantern.

    Making the concept work for people who haven’t been religiously following the comic book for 30 years was always going to be a challenge. I’m sure it could be done, but probably not by banking on cheap-looking CGI and keeping all the “brightest day, blackest night” silliness.

    I mean, if you get Ryan Reynolds to play Hal Jordan and the film ends up doing best among “older males,” that nicely sums up the breadth and scope of the problem.

  38. Reading the comments here and elsewhere illustrate another, maybe inherent problem – no one’s ideal GL film is the same. I have no desire to see Torsten’s GL1 with a talking, sarcastic ring, nor would I want to see a superhero movie with two unlikeable leads. They’re all valid ways to go, I’m not saying my ideal GL film would be any better, but maybe the script also suffered from being pulled in competing directions (more vs less earth action, more vs less Oa, etc etc).

    And @ JK Simon – I completely agree with you re: the end credits tag. That was totally bizarre to me. I would hope that, if there is a sequel, the filmmakers will completely ignore it and spend some time actually explaining Sinestro’s descent to the dark side because as it stands there was zero motivation for it.

  39. Yeah, this year has been pretty packed with movies, superhero or otherwise – I’ve gone to the theatre more times in the past two months than I usually do in half a year!

    It takes a lot to stand out in a packed season like this, and Green Lantern just doesn’t seem to have it. The trailers looked like Generic Superhero Product and few people are familiar enough to lend it the “let’s see what these characters are up to” appeal of a sequel.

    I kind of wonder if it would have been a bit more successful if it was about John Stewart instead . . . many more people are familiar with him thanks to the Justice League cartoons, to the point where Twitter is full of “Isn’t Green Lantern supposed to be black?’ messages.

  40. I’ve seen my ideal Green Lantern film. It’s called “Green Lantern: First Flight” and is available from DC Animation on DVD.

  41. Hey, the ring in the comics always explains stuff. Give it some personality, or else it gets boring. Plus DCE can sell lots of talking rings at Toys R Us!

    There are three more comic book movies this summer (two on the same weekend!), plus Tintin during the Holidays, so Green Lantern might end up at the bottom of opening weekends at the end of the year, just above Green Hornet and Priest…

    GL raises another problem… how well do superhero movies sell in other markets?
    19 markets (one of which is the UK)
    $17 Million

    WBE has this week to make money. Next week it’s Cars 2, then Transformers. They should have opened on the Tenth, right after X-Men. Steal some of that market, and two weeks of unchallenged box office.

  42. JEFF P writes: “Not sure why anyone was surprised by this. Seriously. It doesn’t take a genius to understand a second-tier superhero flick without a major star isn’t going to (ahem) fly. “Iron Man” had Downey, Jr., who made the movie. This Reynolds guy is a chunk of beef with the equivalent personality.”

    This statement doesn’t make sense because Downey, Jr. is a “major star” BECAUSE of the success of IRON MAN. That was his comeback from oblivion and it led into the great reception for “Tropic Thunder” and “Sherlock Holmes” (although “The Soloist” didn’t fly). “The Singing Detective” and “The Shaggy Dog” did not exactly set the box office on fire while “The Proposal” (Reynolds’ pre-GL movie) was a solid blockbuster (partly because of him). Sure, one can argue that Downey, Jr. is a better actor, but I thought Reynolds was perfect as Hal Jordan, but trapped in an imperfect movie.

    I agree with the people here who say that GREEN LANTERN is very uneven but also with those who said that it has promise and deserves a sequel/franchise. The promise is definitely here, and Ryan Reynolds was great casting (I thought Carol Ferris and the whole Hector Hammond/Senator stuff was the silly/awful/borderline “Quest for Peace” part.)

    X-MEN: FIRST CLASS was surely the surprise of the summer for me thus far, given that X-MEN 3 was not great and WOLVERINE was a dog. It pretty much went straight to the top of my X-MEN movie list and graduated with flying honors. Congrats to the people who made this film.

    (Have not seen THOR yet…)

    I weighed in on these movies in more detail at the links below:



  43. It wasn’t a bad movie. But the script definitely could have used some work. It was too rushed in places (they tried to squeeze too much in — which is what has killed a lot of the sequels for superhero movies).
    The other thing that hurt was I didn’t buy Ryan Reynolds as Hal. Now, that isn’t necessarily something that may affect the typical movie audience (e.g. those not familiar with Green Lantern comics), but I really felt like he was maybe a bit to clean-cut and young and didn’t have that edge to him that really makes Hal something of a brash and reckless individual.
    They probably also could have saved some money on the Parallax special effects by giving him a sleeker image instead of the big amorphous blob they presented instead.

  44. GREEN LANTERN was a terrible movie in every possible way:

    The plot was full of holes in almost every scene!!!!
    EX) when Hal ran out of the bar like a girl to get his butt kicked, where was Carol? still inside?

    When Hal flew al the way to OA to ask the Gardians for help to fight Galactus/Paralax- they said NO, So Hal wasted to trip. ” ok well let me fight him” Uh I dont remember them saying he wasnt allowed to do anything in the first place. POINTLESS SCENE.

    Why was Paralax going to earth instead of OA? What was the ultimate goal of Paralax and Rocky Denise? POINTLESS villans

    OA & the corps was the best part of the movie ( on screen for MAYBE 10-12 minutes TOTAL.) and guess what- The CGI in GREEN LANTERN was on the same level of SPEED RACER.

    The earth stuff that was tolorable was a weak rip off of IRONMAN.

    GL was a TERRIBLE movie.
    Xmen FIrst Class was an AWSOME movie.
    THOR was a damn good movie.

  45. oh and RYAN RENOLDS was not Hal Jordan… he was RYAN RENOLDS.

    Its cool finaly seeing the GreenLantern mythos on screen. ( escpecialy if you are a die hard comic nerd) But you cant give it a free pass because you love the source material.

    If 1997s BATMAN & ROBIN was the first live action versions of those characters… some of us would be saying ” oh its not that bad , it was fun”

    Crap movie is crap movie.

    You need a solid first movie for agreat 2nd movie / sequel.

    SUPERMAN RETURNS cost less/ made more and that still was a bomb that lead to a REBOOT 6 yrs later.

    There will NOT be a sequel to GL.
    A reboot in 5-8 yrs from now maybe.

  46. I don’t think that Superman Returns was a bomb as much as they realised it was not a hit. Kind of like X3. it made lots of money but they did not go ahead witha sequel becasue they realised the franchise went off the rails.

    I think the problem began with the script. Characters said meaningless things. Literally, if you stopped and listened to what they were saying about “fear” and “will” the words coming out fo their mouth were incoherent.

    Now I don’t think we can entirely wash Johns’ hands of that. I find exactly the same problem with his GL comics. If you skim over it quickly it kind of makes sense but if you stop and reflect you realise it doesn’t.

    The other problem is is that whatever Johns virtues and he does have them (the Sinestro corps etc; is a great idea) character is not one of them. Hal Jordan in the movie was as incoherent as Hal Jordan in the comics.

    Also nothing was earnt in the film. There was no devleopment, things just happened. We were told what to think and what to feel as a substitute for actually feeling or thinking something.

    It is a common enough problem with Hollywood films and one of the reasons I stopped going to as many films. The problem is that Johns wasn’t a strong enough creative to withstand the Hollywood machine.

    As soon as they announced DC Entertianment with Johns as CCO i knew it was amistake. Again, not becasue I don;t think he has talent, he does but he’s been promoted beyond his pay grade.

    Look at Marvel. Bendis is their equivalent and they didn’t make him CCO, they made Queseda who has a broader skill set than Bendis, and by extnesion Johns. The invovle Bendis and their other writers in the movie process but they don’t enslave it.

    Marvel feels like they have distilled the best of ocomics and ovie systems while DC feels like they have distilled the worst of both.

    Which is a shame.

  47. Time’s Richard Corliss wrote that superhero origin fatigue may be at work. Three such movies in seven weeks was apparently too many. And we haven’t even gotten to Captain America.

    Corliss also wrote that Warner may have overestimated the appeal of Ryan Reynolds, an actor with “a TV star’s lightweight likability” instead of “a movie star’s sexy danger.”

  48. What does GREEN LANTERN’s box-office mean for DC Entertainment?

    Offhand, I’d say it’ll be harder to get those FLASH… LEGIONNAIRES/TEEN TITANS… WONDER WOMAN movies made. And maybe—outside the DC Universe-independent Nolan BATMAN series— just confirms to Comic Film fans that DC will always be the secondary ‘Distinguished Competitor’ to MARVEL’s continuing dominance in the field?

    And I thought that it was the (East Coast) DC Comics side that strongarmed the (West Coast) WB Studios on just how the GL film was to be made: not from the ’60-’80s storylines andmythos— but from the recent Geoff Johns reformulations. Even from the ads alone, I saw that “Parallax” was retconned to fit Johns’ Technicolor Lanterns creation [thereby robbing a potential GREAT 3rd movie sequel where Hal Jordan turns evil… and newly-minted Lanterns
    John Stewart and Kyle Rayner are forced to battle him!]. And: willpower is an emotion??

    Seems to me that Johns and Didio’s
    editorial fingerprints are all over the film that ended up being made.

    Then again, left to its own, the WB Studioscame up with SUPERMAN RETURNS, giving Bryan Singer carte blanche to present DC Comic’s central mythic figure as he wanted—- without any input from the DC writers and artists who’ve sheparded the character in the years since Richard Donner’s film. Really, a stalker “Superman” and a half-Kryptonian kid he knew nothing about??

    And we know how Singer’s ‘reboot’ of the franchise turned out, critically as well as financially disappointing.

    I suppose the WARNER BROS corporate heads decided to grant the DC Comics side creative control over the GREEN LANTERN film as an attempt to avoid the mistake they made with SUPERMAN RETURNS… but it looks like they overcompensated and ended up repeating with a panned and underperforming first entry of a planned film franchise. Look for a GL reboot in 5 years?

  49. Hire a solid screenwriter or duo to tackle the script. This is a space opera. Don’t run away from that. Worry less about how
    to “relate” to the general audience.

    Hire WETA for the special effects but use the Nolan rule- use cgi as a last resort.

    The after credits scene? That’s the basis for the reboot/ sequel. The rise and fall of the greatest GL of all…Sinestro.

    Perhaps this is a way to salvage the dissappointment. And don’t think you’re going to make $300 mil franchise out the gate with a 2nd tier character ( Yes, GL is a 2nd tier character. Only top tier characters are Batman, Spider Man, , X Men, Superman, Hulk, and Wonder Woman) who’s most visible representation to the public is different than what you’re currently presenting. ( Perhaps all those “I thought Green Lantern was black?” statements were more relevent)

    Maybe now would be a good time for DC to look at their “fringe” properties (Gotham Central, Lois Lane, Suicide Squad, Sgt. Rock, S.T.A.R. Labs, Sandman, Club of Heroes, Scapled, Blue Beetle, Hellblazer, etc) and think of simple ways to bring these characters and the stories to the mass public without “too many chiefs in the kitchen.

    And please stop looking across the street at Marvel and feel you’ve got to 1 up them. Just do you like you doing it for TV.

  50. Suppose that, for many reviewers and some (potential) viewers, GL’s ring is the problem. The ring is the only power he has, and he funnels his will power through it, so someone who has a passing familiarity with the character knows how the villain will be defeated before he starts watching. The ring and the yellow vulnerability might also come across as childish.

    If the ring is a problem, that’s hard to deal with. If the storyline emphasizes his non-heroic life and minimizes the conflict, then kids would be bored, as would viewers who enjoy special effects, wondering what GL will conjure up with the ring, etc. There might be a perfect balance between action and character study, but I don’t know what the balance would be for most viewers.

    Back in the ’70s, I read Marvel’s IRON FIST for a while, but I quickly got tired of reading stories that didn’t serve much purpose except to set up the use of his fantabulous iron fist at the end. Any character who has a single power (e.g., the Flash) might have similar problems in a movie. Batman has much more flexibility. Even if the viewer knows beforehand that he’ll defeat the villain, he doesn’t know how in advance.

    Perhaps the other qualities of a movie compensate for predictability; I’d compare the predictability of the single power to reading a mystery and guessing who the culprit is before I’m halfway through the book. Aside from possibly limiting the potential audience, though, predictability is certain to alienate some reviewers.


  51. Just A note on Story structure here. The cosmic Gas-cloud as menace was proven to be uninteresting in FF2 with Galactus. Why anyone in Hollywood would repeat this etheric blunder is beyond me. IT doesn’t make the film work, while the antagonist of Hector Hammond was interesting enough to keep the menace grounded.

    I’m sure Geoff Johns and his Zoo Crew of Hollywood editors knows this. It’s the EXECUTIVE producers that screwed this up. The romance was essential for viewer identification (make a date film). It had it’s fine moments with Carol and Hal, and Carol trying desperately to help her childhood friend. That worked.

    What didn’t work was TWO menaces, and all the exposition to get the character set-up. This was a storycraft problem. It was very respectful of the franchise, but they were slices that weren’t sewn together.

    Massively bad story flow. Where as Iron Man was one complete direct narrative. It flowed and progressed the character(s). In the future if your Hollywood film has these issues, please call Mr. Mike Carlin to straighten out this mess. He gets it.

    Oh, that’s right he’s already there…but I’m sure this STORY was written and filmed before he got on the movie lot. Hope the EXECs at least listen next time.

  52. at Jim Higgins:
    “I have an idea — instead of them looking for who to point a finger at, maybe they should start by not making a film for $300 million!!”

    I’ve mentioned this before. When a movie has a budget of 300 million, how can it do anything BUT lose money?

  53. Johns had to be responsible for the horrible intro with the insane amount of exposition that killed any momentum the film ever could of had from the jump.

  54. Here’s a novel idea, Why not make the next “SuperHero” movie a full length cartoon movie, Using the voices we are familiar with like “Tim Daly” as superman and so on. NO C.G.I!!! Strickly a toon like all the Batman, Superman, justice League, toons we all love. But pull out all the stops to make it as detailed and to spec as possible. This way we can bring multiple Heroes all together. I’M STILL WAITING FOR THE “AVENGERS” to come out…THAT WILL BE AWESOME. Specially if they stick to the toon version. Then come back with a second movie featuring Black Panther. This is what I would believe would KILL at the box office.

  55. I’m a big fan of DC, but the movie didn’t do GL justice. They should have focussed, the movie is all over the place. Therefore none of the characters get enough screen time to let you know them or hate them. There is no emotional investment.
    Also the constructs should be about imagination, instead the lacked it. Either make it a beginner story, with focus on HAL and the world learning about GL. Or focus on the big world-eating threat, or on the GL corps, or on the romance, or on Hal’s goofiness. Just focus, now everything felt rushed, the pace was inconsistent and the story was all over the place and the characters had no depth, only some fake pasted on angst.

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