‘Green Lantern’ Is Top Film With $53.2 Million in Receipts

The 3-D superhero film “Green Lantern,” based on the D.C. Comics character, was the top film at U.S. and Canadian theaters this past weekend, opening with $53.2 million in ticket sales for Warner Bros.

The Jim Carrey comedy “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” was third in its debut, taking in $18.4 million for News Corp. (NWSA)’s Twentieth Century Fox, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc. (TWX), is trying to develop new movie franchises from its D.C. Comics unit as the lucrative “Harry Potter” series nears its end with the last film in the series opening on July 15. “Green Lantern” received mostly bad reviews and missed the $61 million estimate of BoxOfficeGuru.com editor Gitesh Pandya.

“The opening day was pretty good for this film, but the bad word of mouth spread very quickly, and that affected Saturday, which was down more than your typical superhero movie,” Pandya said. The movie had $21.6 million in Friday sales and $16.8 million on Saturday.

Green Lantern” stars Ryan Reynolds as a self-indulgent test pilot, Hal Jordan, who is recruited to join a force of intergalactic superheroes dedicated to battling evil forces. In order to harness the power that comes with his new calling, he must first learn to master himself. Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard co-star.

‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’

The film is based on the comic book series introduced in 1940. Characters other than Jordan, introduced in 1959, have served as the series protagonists over the decades, according to the Web site Collectors Weekly. Of 146 reviews compiled on the website Rottentomatoes.com as of June 17, 112 were negative.

Finishing second was “Super 8,” the science-fiction thriller from J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg. The film, with sales of $21.5 million in its second weekend, dropped from first place. It’s taken in $73 million since its June 10 release.

“Super 8” tells the story of a group of teens who stumble onto a dangerous government secret while filming an amateur movie. The film stars Elle Fanning, sister of Dakota Fanning, and Joel Courtney.

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” a PG-rated modern twist on a 1938 children’s book of the same title, stars Carrey as a unhappy businessman who inherits six penguins that turn his life around. The $18.4 million opening was better than expected, Hollywood.com Box-Office said.

‘Cars 2’

“X-Men: First Class,” News Corp.’s fifth film about mutants with super powers, and starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, dropped to fourth place from second with $11.9 million.

“The Hangover: Part II,” Warner Bros.’ raunchy, R-rated comedy, fell to fifth from third with $10.1 million. The film, a follow-up to the 2009 hit that tallied $467.5 million for Warner Bros., has taken in $233.1 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters since its May 26 opening.

Movies opening next week include “Cars 2,” a sequel to the 2006 hit from Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s Pixar. The first film cost about $120 million to make and earned $462 million worldwide. Sony Corp. (6758) will release the comedy “Bad Teacher,” starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake.

“Next weekend is all about ‘Cars 2,’” Pandya said. “Pixar is the only bulletproof brand left in Hollywood, and this one is guaranteed to have a large opening. It’s in 3-D, and is a sequel with a built-in audience, so that promises some big numbers.”

Revenue for the top 12 films this past weekend fell 23 percent to $147.2 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box-office sales this year have declined 7.6 percent to $4.65 billion. Attendance is down 9 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for June 17 through yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./    Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater  Chg.   (mln) Wks
================================================================
 1 GREEN LANTERN       53.2    3,816   13,935    --     53.2   1
 2 SUPER 8             21.5    3,408    6,300   -39     73.0   2
 3 POPPER’S PENGUINS   18.4    3,339    5,524    --     18.4   1
 4 X-MEN: FIRST CLASS  11.9    3,375    3,536   -51    120.4   3
 5 HANGOVER PART II    10.1    3,460    2,911   -43    233.1   4
 6 KUNG FU PANDA 2      9.0    3,469    2,602   -45    143.7   4
 7 BRIDESMAIDS          7.1    2,573    2,759   -29    136.5   6
 8 PIRATES OF CARIBBEAN 6.6    2,742    2,424   -39    220.7   5
 9 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS    4.9    1,038    4,706   -16     21.4   5
10 JUDY MOODY           2.1    2,524      833   -65     11.0   2
11 THE TREE OF LIFE     1.2      115   10,121    41      3.9   4
12 THOR                 1.1      875    1,309   -53    176.1   7

Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $147.2        $191.5       -23


Year-to-date Revenue

     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $4,647        $5,028      -7.6

Year-to-date Attendance:     -9.0%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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