Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds, opens nationwide this Friday. Two days ago, however, the film was screened for press in New York and L.A. and the buzz has been, well, less than friendly.
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Yesterday, Drew McWeeny from HitFix posted his review, calling the film "awkward, uneven," and saying it "packs no punch"...and that was just in the headline. Shortly after posting his review, Jim Vejvoda from IGN tweeted "Here are 5 "bad" comic book films that are better than Green Lantern: LXG, Wolverine, Superman 3, Jonah Hex, and X-Men 3." These two well-respected film critics had killed all hope I had for enjoying Green Lantern, but said critics also made me think about how it will do at the box office.
Let's take a trip down memory lane. Opening to some of the worst and most brutal reviews in film history, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen still managed to be a box office success making $836 million worldwide on a $200 million budget; the film also went on to win an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Sound. This jaw-dropping phenomenon will now always be a topic in this discussion: Do critics even matter, anymore?
The answer? Kind of. In the case of smaller films, like Atlas Shrugged for example, filmmakers depend on positive word of mouth to make money, both to recoup costs and in hopes for a sequel or picture deal with a studio. When dealing with a summer popcorn flick like Transformers, the majority of the population will, most likely, see it regardless of what their favorite critic says. Hell, a lot of people (including myself) will make a point to see a film after reading how mind-numbing it is.
So, the question for those out there who steadily follow film critics is: If your favorite writer gave Green Lantern a scathing review, would you still see it?