OK, so I don’t really think Blake Lively backlash will be the reason anyone decides against seeing Green Lantern this weekend, but after reading Locke’s box-office predictions and longtime Reader Who Rocks Jeremy F’s even bolder proclamations for the kind of big bucks the latest comic-book adaptation is going to pull in, I can’t resist playing party pooper for a minute.
I have always believed that for a superhero film to do exceedingly well, it has to appeal to everyone: men, women, young, old, people who actually know the origin stories and have read the comics, and those (like me) who never have a clue about that stuff. A big-name star who’s liked by all of those same demographics doesn’t hurt, either. (I’m convinced that even though Iron Man was a great film overall, if Robert Downey Jr, hadn’t played Tony Stark, there’s no way it would’ve been the blockbuster it was.)
Now let’s think about Green Lantern. In this post from November, Locke helped explain who was who in the teaser trailer. You know what I thought about all of the characters he covered? I thought they were BO-RING! I like Ryan Reynolds just fine, but he’s no Robert Downey Jr. His presence couldn’t make up for the fact that the trailer left much to be desired — in no way did it make me want to see the film. The final trailer, released last month, is even worse — it reeks of desperation, trying to cram the entire back-story of this DC Comics universe into two-and-a-half minutes:
I like popcorn flicks as much as the next person, and have even enjoyed recent superhero movies like Thor, which I had no connection to going in and was sure I’d hate. But I’m even more positive I will not like Green Lantern. I watch those trailers and am just like, “Who are all those pink dudes wearing green skintight leotards? Why does everyone have a huge forehead?” And — as I brace myself to get a fanboy beat down — I also have to add that the “Green Lantern oath” is so, so lame. It sounds like a elementary school kid’s first poem or something. “Look, ma — I can rhyme!” Seriously.
And then there’s the whole Blake Lively thing. As a fan of Gossip Girl, I’ve watched with great interest as Lively started building her big-screen resume… from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants franchise to the Academy Award-nominated The Town. But do I believe for one second that her recent “Those nude photos aren’t of me!” (yeah, right) scandal and whirlwind (ongoing) romance with Leonardo DiCaprio AREN’T part of a well-crafted PR campaign? Two weeks before Green Lantern (in which she plays Carol Ferris) comes out? Please. I’m not saying the studio’s involved, but I am saying that Lively’s “people” know exactly what they’re doing to build buzz at a very opportune time. They want to draw attention to her and the film, and everyone’s wanting it to do well enough to 1) earn back its ginormous $300 million production-and-marketing budget, and 2) spawn a franchise. For me, the only thing the nonstop Blake Lively gossip has achieved is making me even more annoyed and less excited to see Green Lantern. (Which I WILL be seeing a screening of on Wednesday, as it’s my job.)
Am I hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was with Thor? Sure. But when I see posters like the one below, I go back to betting that I’m not the only one who wouldn’t spend $10 on a ticket. I mean, I didn’t know anything about the Green Lantern AT ALL before those lackluster trailers started hitting, and so a weird creature with a name I don’t know how to pronounce splashed on a poster at my bus stop is not helping to win me over.
Now, is there a good chance Green Lantern will win this coming weekend’s box-office race? Of course. But my prediction is that overall — over the long haul — it will be considered a spectacular flop. I gotta call ‘em like I see ‘em!
Wanna make sure you’re prepared for Green Lantern?
- Reserving a copy of Green Lantern: Emerald Nights should do the trick
Redbox movies from the cast of Green Lantern: