After two weekends, Green Lantern has made a little less than $90 Million at the box office – which is low for a film that supposedly cost $200 Million (with a supposed additional $100 for advertising). And yet Warner Brothers suggested this weekend that they’re going forward with a sequel. At least that’s what The Hollywood Reporter is suggesting. Will Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively get a second chance?
The film is considered something of an underperformer internationally, but all the numbers aren’t in yet. Still, its domestic box office fell hard this weekend, and the final American total should be less than $140, especially with direct competition this week from Transformers 3. Why then announce a sequel?
Two reasons: one is that it makes the current film look better, and we’ve seen some movies that didn’t do that awesome spawn a sequel if bad word from other entries in the franchise diminished current interest (that was the autopsy on Batman Begins numbers). Perhaps the world was too funky for regular movie goers to check it out theatrically, but once it hits home video there may be more interest in checking the film out. Lantern was not well received critically, with most reviews skewing negative (our review was mixed). But this may also have to do with “origin story” movie fatigue (Lantern is the third such film this summer, with another on the way).
The second reason is that the Green Lantern is a brand that needs more name recognition. The character isn’t as well known as Superman or Batman, and for regular viewers it may take some getting to know. But if they do another, how do they do it cheaper? If this film had a problem it’s that it didn’t do more with the outer space and fantasy elements. The universe of this character is not cheap, and going cheaper would be a greater disservice.So how do you do this universe on a budget? At the same time, Superhero movies – even if they are on the wane – are easier to sell than original properties. You’re already starting with a base awareness. If this didn’t work, you can say you learned from your mistakes.
All that said, Warner Brothers talked up a sequel to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns while that film was flailing at the box office, and now they’re going with a second reboot of that franchise. Saying your doing something – or even throwing money at a script – is much, much cheaper than actually making a movie.
What are the real odds they make a sequel?