Green Lantern led the way at the box office this weekend, but didn't quite live up to its massive hype and budget.

Modest $53.2 Million Start for 'Green Lantern'

on June 20, 2011 by Daniel Garris

As was widely expected, Warner's Green Lantern topped the box office with ease this weekend. However, in debuting with $53.17 million, the comic book adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds opened on the lower end of its lofty pre-release expectations. The film's debut also left a bit to be desired when taking into account its $200 million production budget and enormous marketing costs. Green Lantern opened below the opening weekend performance of both Paramount's Thor ($65.72 million) and Fox's X-Men: First Class ($55.10 million). Green Lantern appears to have been at a disadvantage from being the third comic book adaptation in less than two months. While the film's mostly poor reviews may not have hurt all that much this weekend, they certainly didn't help matters either.

Compared to previous comic book adaptations to open over Father's Day weekend, Green Lantern opened 4 percent softer than the $55.41 million start of 2008's The Incredible Hulk and 8 percent softer than the $58.05 million start of 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (neither of which had the advantage of higher priced 3D tickets). After opening with $21.39 million on Friday, Green Lantern took an unexpectedly large hit on Saturday, before stabilizing on Father's Day. The film registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.49 to 1. In comparison, The Incredible Hulk and Rise of the Silver Surfer generated respective ratios 2.58 to 1 and 2.64 to 1. Green Lantern was obviously quite front-loaded towards Friday, which isn't a good sign for the film's holding power going forward.

On the international front, Green Lantern grossed $16.0 million from a limited amount of foreign markets. That places the film's worldwide start at $69.2 million. Key debuts included $4.1 million in the United Kingdom, $2.4 million in Russia and $1.6 million in the Philippines. Green Lantern will hope to be part of the recent changing trend of comic book adaptations performing relatively stronger internationally than domestically.

The news was far better for Super 8 this weekend, as the J.J. Abrams directed science fiction film from Paramount held up quite nicely for a high-profile summer release. Super 8 took second place with $21.47 million, as it fell only 39 percent from its debut last weekend. Super 8 has grossed $73.00 million in ten days, which is impressive at this point, especially when taking into account its $50 million production budget. Good word of mouth and the Father's Day holiday both helped Super 8 out this weekend. Despite opening softer than 2008's Cloverfield, Super 8 is already on the verge of surpassing the $80.05 million total gross of that film. At this rate, it won't be long before Super 8 reaches the $100 million milestone.

Fox's Mr. Popper's Penguins opened in third place with a so-so $18.45 million. The family comedy starring Jim Carrey debuted in line with its modest expectations. There is almost always at least one potentially strong June performer that doesn't break out and Mr. Popper's Penguins appears to be fitting that mold this year. Mr. Popper's Penguins opened nearly on par with the $18.26 million start of Jim Carrey's last high-profile comedy, 2008's Yes Man. However, it is extremely unlikely that Mr. Popper's Penguins will hold up anywhere near as strong as Yes Man did, given that it will not have the advantage of the Christmas season and from facing direct competition for family audiences from Disney's Cars 2 beginning on Friday.

Fellow Fox release X-Men: First Class was down two spots and 51 percent to finish in fourth with $11.93 million. Even with the aid of Father's Day, the big-budget sequel still took a sizeable hit from Green Lantern this weekend. The 17-day domestic total for X-Men: First Class stands at $120.36 million. The film continues to perform stronger internationally, where it grossed $21.2 million from 67 markets this weekend. That brings the international total for X-Men: First Class to $163.2 million and the worldwide total to $283.6 million.

Warner's The Hangover Part II, Paramount's Kung Fu Panda 2 and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides are beginning to wind down their domestic runs. The Hangover Part II was down 43 percent to take fifth with $10.07 million, Kung Fu Panda 2 fell a disappointing 45 percent to land in sixth with $9.03 million and On Stranger Tides fell 39 percent to finish in eighth with $6.65 million. Respective domestic totals stand at $233.11 million for The Hangover Part II, $143.67 million for Kung Fu Panda 2 and at $220.75 million for On Stranger Tides.

However, all three films continue to remain strong internationally. This weekend Kung Fu Panda 2 grossed an excellent $52.5 million, On Stranger Tides grossed $25.9 million and The Hangover Part II grossed $22.4 million. Respective international totals stand at $280.0 million for Kung Fu Panda 2, a truly massive $731.9 million for On Stranger Tides and at $257.6 million for The Hangover Part II.

Back on the domestic front, Midnight in Paris experienced a very strong hold this weekend. The Woody Allen directed film from Sony Pictures Classics grossed $4.88 million, which was down just 16 percent from last weekend. Midnight in Paris only expanded into an additional 94 locations this weekend, making this weekend's hold that much more impressive. Midnight in Paris has grossed $21.45 million in 31 days and should continue to remain a box office factor for quite some time.

Follow @DanielBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional box office updates.

Tags: Midnight in Paris, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Hangover Part II, X-Men: First Class, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Super 8, Green Lantern

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