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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.