Despite the fact Green Lantern is set to make a “substantial” loss for Warner Bros., the studio is apparently still intent on making a sequel.
To date the movie has made $154 million worldwide, $114 million of which it made in the US (without 3D it could have easily made less than $100 million). It’s staggered release internationally over the next few months could help it edge closer to $200m worldwide, but with a budget of around $300 million ($200m production costs + $100m marketing) no profit will be made here.
In a recent interview with Hero Complex Warner Bros. film group President Jeff Robinov said he believes there is still an audience for a sequel, and says it needs to be “edgier and darker”.
“We had a decent opening so we learned there is an audience,” said Warner Bros. film group President Jeff Robinov, pointing to the film’s box office debut of $53 million. “To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action…. And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”
Warner Bros. already has an outline for a sequel on hand written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, who all worked on the script for the original. However, several people familiar with the thinking of executives there who were not authorized to speak on the record say Warner will likely make significant changes to the outline, if not start over from scratch, in developing a sequel.
Green Lantern is going to make less than The Hulk, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Ghost Rider despite costing twice as much, so making a sequel is obviously not good business sense. Warner Bros. have made clear for a while that they want DC characters to replace Harry Potter, but Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is the only movie capable of filling the boy wizards shoes.
One hint as to why the studio is trying (desperately) to create a franchise out of Green Lantern lies with Jeff Robinov’s interest “in bringing DC heroes together for a Justice League movie.” The studio apparently has “a solid script” for The Flash, but in order to have a big team-up movie they will need Green Lantern. With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 set to become the 3rd highest grossing movie of all-time Warner Bros. could simply write Green Lantern off financially, and try to make the sequel work (without director Martin Campbell).