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Despite Soft Opening, Warner Bros. Still Planning Green Lantern Sequel

Even as Green Lantern fell a precipitous 66 percent at the domestic box office, word surfaced that Warner Bros. is standing by its superhero and pushing ahead with plans for a sequel.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, studio executives are “somewhat disappointed” with the performance of the movie, which cost $200 million before a massive marketing campaign that some have pegged at $100 million. To date, Green Lantern has grossed $89.3 million in the domestic box office; adding in foreign receipts puts it at $118.7 million, behind this summer’s other superhero films Thor ($436.7 million) and X-Men: First Class ($317.2 million). The second-weekend drop is steeper than either of those movies — Thor fell 47 percent and X-Men 56 percent — but still less than the nearly 70-percent free fall of 2003’s Hulk.

The trade paper points out that, with the end of the Harry Potter series next month (to say nothing of the looming conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy), the studio needs new franchises. Plus, much like Disney with TRON: Legacy, Warner Bros. set out to transform Green Lantern into its own multimedia empire, with direct-to-DVD animated movies, a video game and the upcoming Cartoon Network animated series. So it would be tough to hit the eject button after such a big investment by so many of the company’s divisions.

Besides, $89.3 million in two weeks is nothing to sneeze at — it’s just not “blockbuster” business. And, hey, there’s always home-video sales.

Update: A Warner Bros. spokesman later told The Hollywood Reporter that, contrary to the earlier story, the studio hasn’t made a decision yet about a sequel.

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Comments

  • Paul

    Let’s hope they get it right the second time if they actually go through with it.  New director is a given already, recasting may not be necessary if Reynolds is embarrassed enough to take the role seriously (and stop wishing he was Deadpool), cut the marketing budget by at least 50%, and then the real $$$ problem: the VFX. 

    There is no way they can spend less on CGI in a Green Lantern sequel.  People were complaining that the effects looked fake, plus the plot of a sequel would HAVE TO have more power ring battles and constructs.  In animation this is no big deal, but in a live action movie it is an expensive proposition.

    Beyond this they need writers who can craft an *exciting* story, not just a GL-SF outing.  That doesn’t sell, obviously.  If Sinestro is the villain, which he is almost certain to be, we already know he will not prevail, so there is a certain lack of suspense.   The story has got to be not just good but well crafted – like Thor, which was pretty much by-the-numbers story wise but handled professionally by both the actors and director.  Unlike GL which was a mishmash of plotlines and character bits.

    So, there is hope (all will be well), but it will take a major effort.

  • MartinNL

    It has not even been released in big markets such as Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and other Northern and Eastern European countries. GL is not as well known as X-men, Transformers and Batman over here, but there is always a big audience for this type of movies. I don’t think WB is seriously worrying about not earning back their investment, because I’m pretty sure they will and will also make a profit. Maybe unlike the profits for HP or Batman, but a profit nonetheless.

  • Rubadiri

    This movie is really getting people emotional: LANTERN REVIEW http://rubadiri.blogspot.com/2011/06/darkest-night-lost-opportunity-of-green.html

  • Nilla

    But, what if Sinestro does prevail? They could always build up a plot line leading to a third movie based off  the Sinestro Corps war. That would be a vastly superior plot to the current film.

  • http://www.therawness.com T. AKA Ricky Raw

    I don’t believe it. They released this info before the second weekend because they wanted to avert a steep second weekend drop in ticket sales. Based on the first week of buzz, they knew people were already considering this an aborted franchise. And knowing modern moviegoers, if they think a movie intended as a franchise turns out to be a failure, the franchise will never materialize and as a result the moviegoers won’t bother investing in the movie, since they assume the property will just be rebooted anyway. By communicating they still have faith in this movie as the start of a potential franchise, Warner hopes to convince people on the fence to invest the time to see this movie anyway despite the negative buzz.

    Trust me, Warner hasn’t made a final decision on this yet.