Green Lantern: The Big Flop of 2011

Writing this article pains me. Growing up, I was a massive Green Lantern fan. I read plenty of comic books, but Green Lantern was one of the few comics I actually subscribed to. The comic was great, and I read it until I lost interest in comic books as a whole.

I’ve been waiting for a movie for years, and when it was announced that Martin Campbell, the director of Goldeneye and Casino Royale, I got even more excited.

And then the first trailer hit. With a resounding thud. It wasn’t a terrible trailer. But it wasn’t a great trailer. The special effects were questionable. The acting was goofy. And what’s the deal with that stupid-looking pink alien?


Green Lantern isn’t an easy sell like Superman or Batman. Or X-Men or Spider-Man. Most of my friends confuse the character and movie with this year’s The Green Hornet. The premise is more outrageous than most other comic book movies combined. It’s a property that needed to impress from the first moment, to express the “wow” factor that films like Iron Man did so brilliantly.

Green Lantern started its marketing campaign by leaping into a black hole. It’s still struggling to get out. The WonderCon footage restored my faith in the project, but then the marketing department went and released an absurd photo like this:

Green Lantern Gun

Why? Why? This scene could be great in the movie. The special effects could be amazing. But as a still frame, it looks absurdly stupid. For Green Lantern to be profitable, it needs to appeal beyond the fan boys to much broader audiences – does this picture help appeal to a broader audience?

IMDB reports the movie has a $150 million budget. Throw in marketing and prints and you’re looking at well over $200 million. I’m extremely worried Green Lantern won’t get above $125 million. It won’t be an outright disaster. It might even be profitable once worldwide grosses are taken into account. But will this be the epic beginning to a new franchise?

I have my doubts.

I hope I’m wrong. I predict the movie is going to be good. It’s going to be a critical success and the special effects are going to be much better than they appear. But will it make money?

Sadly, I think not. What do you think?

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Box Office, Science Fiction Movies