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Warner Bros.’ Ryan Reynolds starrer The Green Lantern earned an estimated $21.6 million at the Friday box office, putting it on course to win Father’s Day weekend with a gross somewhere in the $57 million to $60 million range.
The big question now is whether Popper’s Penguins can beat Paramount holdover Super 8 for the weekend. From J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, Super 8 grossed $6 million on Friday to come in No. 3.
Moviegoers gave Popper’s Penguins an A-, while those under 18 gave it an A, portending good word of mouth.
Green Lantern earned a B CinemaScore, while 63% of the audience was over the age of 25.
Both Green Lantern and Popper’s Penguins are hoping to benefit from Father’s Day as dads and kids look for something to do together.
Popper’s Penguins, produced by John Davis, has become something of a referendum on Carrey’s ongoing appeal. In general, the film is performing below what Fox had originally hoped for, although family films often start out slow, then picked up speed.
Popper’s Penguins cost a reasonable $55 million to produce, reducing Fox’s exposure.
Green Lantern, on the other hand, is an expensive gamble for Warners and D.C. Comics, having cost $200 to make before a hefty marketing spend.
In terms of other summer superhero titles, Green Lantern is performing along the lines of Fox’s X-Men: First Class, which grossed $21.4 million on its first Friday.
First Class went on to gross $55.1 million for the weekend. Warners believes Green Lantern will best that figure because of Father’s Day, when traffic will be busier than on a normal Sunday.
Green Lantern probably won’t catch up with Paramount’s Thor, which grossed $25.5 million on its first Friday and $65.7 million for the weekend. Unlike Green Lantern, Thor had the advantage of playing in Imax theaters.
Among specialty titles, Fox Searchlight opened romantic comedy The Art of Getting By in 610 locations on Friday. The film, starring Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts and Alicia Silverstone, grossed a so-so $296,000 to place No. 11 for the day.
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