On this Friday last year, GT was abuzz with readers and editors alike ready to see DC's newest superhero film, Green Lantern. Now one year on, we travel back through our posts, talk about the hype, opening weekend, and where it stands in hindsight. Enjoy our newest weekly column, "Film Flashback."
The Hype: It's worth noting that prior to release nearly everyone was hyped about Warner's next big superhero film. Executives were so eager in fact they signed off on a script for the sequel 10 months before the screening. Oddly enough, while most were hailing the initial casting of one Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, GT readers were awfully disappointed that Nathan Fillion was overlooked and many suggested Reynolds making a better Flash. The months dragged on and finally a trailer appeared, then a second visually improved one. It seemed the initially doubtful were slowly becoming believers as readers (and us) hailed the use of CGI and high flying action we were about to see.
Then less than a month before opening weekend we got blasted with an insane amount of footage from the film. 10 or so odd clips with enough story and footage to make even a member of The Avengers marketing team blush. It got to the point where watching all the footage back to back could actually serve as a substitute to watching the film (if you weren't keen on seeing the ending). Yet we kept hope as we lined up Friday hoping to see a green-ringed Dark Knight.
Opening Weekend: We all filled in and out and word spread quick that try as it might, GL was no Dark Knight. While critics slammed nearly every aspect of the film from acting to a lack of originality, geeks were slightly more forgiving. I say slightly because despite his often positive outlook on the industry, even Venkman found some faults in the overall presentation citing predictability and other problems with the script. All things aside, the film closed out the weekend at $53 million, which is somewhat impressive until you consider its only real competition was was Mr. Poppers Penguins.
What People Think Now: GL finished its run in theaters having earned a full 100 million under it's budget, and no redemption came from the DVD release. Regard for the film has been so low that DC execs have made the decision to hold off on the sequel and may pull a "Hulk switch" of sorts and replace Reynolds with a new actor in the newly announced Justice League movie. Will Reynolds return as Hal Jordan in future installments? Hard to say for now, but if I were a betting man, I'd have to say Mark Ruffalo certainly proved that even Edward Norton is expendable when it comes to our heroes. Looking back it now seems like a half assed effort to throw money at a movie and assume it would do well. What's your take?