Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Why Green Lantern Will Fail At The Box Office (Or Already Is Failing)

I think it’s becoming apparent now that Green Lantern isn’t going to set the box office world on fire this summer. If anything it’s going to be the first major box office flop of the year. The bad news is three-fold for Warner Bros considering how much it cost to make, then how much they spent on marketing the movie and that it obviously won’t become a franchise replacement for Harry Potter (like they were hoping).

Is this really surprising though and could it have been avoided?

I think Green Lantern was always going to be a hard sell to mainstream audiences and therefore I wouldn’t have expected the opening box office numbers to have been huge. With all new “relatively unknown” franchises, they tend to perform better over a longer period of time, based on the quality of the film and the positive word-of-mouth that comes with that. Green Lantern definitely isn’t of a high quality and word spread pretty fast, with its Saturday figures being far below expectations.

However, if Green Lantern had been a genuinely good film I still think the opening weekend numbers would have been similar, but all the positive recommendations and repeat viewings would have carried the film to box office success.

It’s a real shame and I’m sure the top executives at Warner Bros will blame the failure on it being a unknown (or original) franchise, when I honestly believe it is ultimately down to the quality of the film.

Marvel’s Thor was in a very similar situation (in terms of a B List superhero and a story with its own rules and universe), yet the way it was marketed and ultimately the films quality itself served it much better financially.

It hasn’t even been a full week since Green Lantern was released so you may think it’s premature to write a post about it failing at the Box Office. But for a film that cost $300m to produce and market that I expect will finish its cinema run in North America with around $120m - $140m I’d say that was a pretty big problem.

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