According to The Hollywood Reporter, box office returns on “Green Lantern” fell sharply Saturday. The industry publication estimates the film will finish the weekend with a $52.7 million gross; a number they call “soft” and falls short of industry expectations. “Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested ‘Green Lantern’ could open in the $57 million to $60 million range,” they write. The projected opening gross sets “Green Lantern” behind “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class,” which opened at $65 million and $55.1 million respectively.
While the film boasts an impressive roster of talent both in front of and behind the camera that includes actors Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard and director Martin Campbell, reviews have not been kind. “Green Lantern” currently has a 25% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and many reviewers have pointed out the film’s lackluster story and tendency toward exposition as drawbacks. “It spends a great deal of time at the impossible task of explaining the logic and rules of its plot. I am amazed at how calmly humans absorb and accept the incredulities of these stories,” writes film critic Roger Ebert.
The Hollywood Reporter also notes ticket sales for the film’s 2D presentation outstripped 3D sales, continuing the trend toward “3D fatigue.” Only 45% of the opening gross came from 3D tickets. Another THR article suggests the premium prices and the glasses obscuring darker scenes as major reasons for audience frustration.
The studio maintains a brave face despite the downward trends. “I would have loved to see $55 million [for ‘Green Lantern’], but we have to let things play out,” Dan Fellman, Warner Bros president of domestic distribution tells THR. “Schools are out now, so if we left anything on the table, we should pick it up during the week.” He also says the industry will reconsider the 3D marketplace after the summer’s other big 3D releases, which includes the studio’s own “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2.”