Super 8 gives way for The Green Lantern this Father’s Day weekend, managing an estimated $52.7 million. A remarkable win, considering the appeal of either film. While The Green Lantern is the third comic book adaptation within two months, Super 8 is the J. J. Abrams mystery project that built up hype rather than the wildly desperate swings at moviegoers by The Green Lantern in a sad attempt to convince people that the sub-par superhero is actually mainstream.

Buried may not have dug up much back in 2010, a mere $19 million estimate in total, but the taut thriller revealed a Ryan Reynolds most seemed to find a convincing and satisfactory performance from. Hollywood doesn’t quite define a successful film by performance, though. Ultimately, the bottom line is the profit. Truly, show business. Indeed, The Green Lantern is the spawn of today’s lifestyle in cinema. Having run out of mainstream, well-known and iconic superheroes which could each have their own franchise, and of course sequels and prequels running thin on the existing ones, the only remaining source of gaining further money from this genre is re-booting, creating sequels and prequels, and as a last resort addressing the unsympathetic and occasionally outright silly superheroes such as the Green Lantern. We have clearly reached that last resort.

Also on the cast we have the appearance of Blake Lively—who has yet to prove to anyone she is an actress. Character actors Mark Strong and Peter Sarsgaard hardly improve Green Lantern. I’m beginning to believe that henchman hotline John McClane mentioned in Live Free or Die Hard actually exists. Hollywood uses it. These villains are cues to one of the great flaws of adapting so many comic book films—predictability. Audiences will soon recognize exactly how many plot similarities and conflicts overlap amongst the comic book genre because, of course, these same familiarities overlap across the source material. No matter the style or vision of a director, they will always be restricted by the parameters of the genre and the established atmosphere. While Batman was initially a character received in vivid, comedic, campy overtones through the 60’s series and of course the very, very silly and over-the-top movies proceeding Christopher Nolan’s franchise, the source material is in fact gothic, dark, and visceral. Only Nolan captured the essence of the comic books while instilling his own style. It was fresh and new and more intimate and dark than the likes of X-Men, intended only to be the entertainment and amusement of a rollercoaster ride. There’s no substance left to add to the genre on film, and by the time superheroes like Green Lantern enter our theatres, we realize there’s simply no point in them anymore. Still, audiences’ ignorance is willful.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins doesn’t seem at all like an ideal release for father’s day, and doesn’t even seem ideal for its demographic. I say, we should leave some books without film adaptations so that today’s electronic generation will be inclined to read for some reason. The idea simply doesn’t translate to film at all, even in the hands of comedic talent Jim Carrey. I’d love for someone to give him a decent script now. The same goes for Kevin James, who could be funny if he weren’t being handed flops like Zookeeper.

Next week will bring Cars 2, and animation domination will ensue as always, leaving Bad Teacher to take second. With an amusing, intriguingly raunchy plot, it knows its target audience and may very well be the next successful R comedy since Bridesmaids. It has the makings of it, including Jason Segel, who I believe a decent character actor.

USA Weekend Box-Office
June 17 – 19, 2011

Rank Title Weekend Gross
1   Green Lantern (2011) $52.7M $52.7M
2   Super 8 (2011) $21.2M $72.8M
3   Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011) $18.2M $18.2M
4   X-Men: First Class (2011) $11.5M $120M
5   The Hangover Part II (2011) $9.63M $233M
6   Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) $8.7M $143M
7   Bridesmaids (2011) $7.49M $137M
8   Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) $6.24M $220M
9   Midnight in Paris (2011) $5.24M $21.8M
10   Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011)  $2.24M   $11.2M