'Green Lantern' Reportedly Cost $300 Million; Director Martin Campbell Won't Return For Sequel

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 13, 2011 6:08 AM
6 Comments
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Greg Berlanti Describes The Film As A Cross Between 'Star Wars' & 'Top Gun'



How much does it cost to make a "Green Lantern" light? Apparently $300 million (including marketing). That's the number being tossed around in a New York Times profile on the film and it's a pretty staggering figure.

As has been well documented by now, the film has had a very rough ride on its way to theaters this Friday. When the first trailer dropped last fall, fanboys were not impressed and the special effects looked dire. Warner Bros. (much) later owned up getting the film out of the marketing gate too early, with the studio's marketing president Sue Kroll now saying, “We went out a little too early. For me it was a very important lesson. We had a great opportunity with ‘Harry Potter,’ but we didn’t have enough of the movie finished.” She also said, “Once we did have some great moments to show, the feedback was unbelievable. I think people are now engaged and primed.”

But are they $300 million primed and engaged? That's the big question. According to the NY Times, the film is tracking to open at $50 million or roughly the same business 'First Class' did (on a smaller budget, with much better pre-release buzz). Can the film leg out to $300 million and break even? Is Ryan Reynolds enough of an international star to make that happen? And moreover, will the film quiet the doubters who still view the film as green cheese? With the movie screening for critics this week the final word will soon be forthcoming about the studio says they're very happy with the movie but really, what else are they going to say at this point?

“It’s not a comic book movie as much as an epic adventure with huge scope and scale, a space opera in the vein of ‘Star Wars’ with an Earthbound ‘Top Gun’ vibe,” said Greg Berlanti, a producer and one of the writers on the film. If it can actually nail those comparison points, it could be truly something special. But that's a pretty big "if" right now.

As for what lies in the future for the franchise, it will all depend on this weekend. And while sequel talk has been around almost from the moment the first one started filming, director Martin Campell says he's not signed to do anymore and that's likely to pull back do something smaller next. He told SuperHeroHype, "I'm going to do a little film next. I don't know what I'm going to do, having just finished this one." Unlike the Marvel task of signing talent to multiple film contracts, Campbell and Warner Bros both likely took a wait-and-see approach before committing to any further movies, though undoubtedly, Reynolds and other key folks have options for more.

See for yourself how it all turns out and if that $300 million was well spent when "Green Lantern" opens this Friday.

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6 Comments

  • Unknown | June 15, 2011 8:38 AMReply

    @Mr Anonymous
    Just to tell you "X-Men: First Class" had great solidified reviews. It has an 87% T-Meter on RottenTomatoes. That's way better then just decent fella.

  • Martin | June 14, 2011 2:02 AMReply

    Wow. That's a lot of money to spend on something that looks this lame and stupid. What could have been better done with $300 million? I know. Give $1 million each to 300 first-time directors, and get some new talent percolating in this creatively bankrupt industry. Nah, never happen.

  • this article needs an editor | June 13, 2011 12:50 PMReply

    There is huge typo in this story. "Break even" at the box office means doing at least 2 times the cost, since theaters don't show the movie for free. Of course Playlist writers know this, which is why I know this was a typo and not the idiocy of fanboy n00bs, who usually make the mistake of not factoring in theater cut. Green Lantern needs to do $600 million to break even at the box office.

    Of course the box office talk is all around strange in this article, as it also says $300 million WORLD WIDE is some huge hurdle, when it is a drop in the bucket. Even a Green Lantern bomb will cross that mark.

    My guess is that Green Lantern won't top $600 million and thus won't break even at the box office. However, ancillaries will make up the difference, so the studio ends up losing nothing, but not really gaining anything either.

  • Mr Anonymous | June 13, 2011 6:35 AMReply

    I'd be surprised if this gets very good reviews but i don't think it will be as bad as people made out when they saw the first trailer for it.

    I think it'll do the same kind of business a la XMen: First Class but at least that had decent reviews. For this, who knows? There's gotta be something good going for it at least??? Yeah?

  • Mr. Reynolds | June 13, 2011 6:33 AMReply

    "For his part, Mr. Reynolds, who is divorced from Scarlett Johansson, deflects such talk with self-deprecating humor."

    Great throw in line there about his divorce NY Times. Really added to the story about Green Lantern's development. Just because you insist on putting "Mr." in front of everyone's name doesn't make you classy.

  • James | June 13, 2011 6:22 AMReply

    "Green Lantern” cost an estimated $300 million to make and market"

    you didnt mention that the $300mil includes worldwide marketing costs and doesnt include tax rebates.

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