Green Lantern Slated For Big Box Office Bucks

Latest superhero pic Green Lantern, in theaters today, has already earned $3.4 million just in midnight premiere showings, on par with 20th Century Fox’s (NASDAQ:NWSA) X-Men: First Class and a little better than Paramount’s (NYSE:VIA) Thor, which is currently the year’s 4th highest grossing movie with a domestic box office of $174.6 million as the film enters its seventh weekend in theaters.

Both X-Men: First Class and Thor dominated their opening weekends, bringing in $55.1 million and $65.7 million, respectively. Green Lantern played 1,180 midnight runs and now moves to 3,816 theaters, 2,711 of which will offer the film in 3D. The production company, Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX), expects the film to be a big draw over Father’s Day weekend, and so far the film’s doing best among men over the age of 25. Men below the age of 25 come in at a close second demographically, with younger women coming in third.

The film needs a good opening weekend after going $50 million over budget, ultimately spending $200 million on special effects and conversion to 3D. A healthy overseas box office should help the film. Both X-Men and Thor grossed more in foreign box offices than at home, and while decreasing in popularity in the U.S., 3D films continue to be a big draw for overseas audiences. Studios are currently projecting $50 to $60 million domestically this weekend.

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