Iron Man was a B-list superhero who made A-list money thanks to Robert Downey Jr.
Well, not exactly like Iron Man.
The Reynolds-led Green Lantern came away with an estimated $52.7 million Friday-Sunday at domestic box office.
The take was more than enough to win the weekend, and maybe even take the sting out of dozens (and dozens) of bad reviews.
But the number was not enough to top modest projections, much less win the summer of the superhero. Both Thor and X-Men: First Class, neither of which boasted stars, opened bigger.
Still, Hollywood.com box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian thinks Reynolds, fronting his first would-be blockbuster, two years after breaking out in Sandra Bullock's The Proposal and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, comes away unscathed.
"He led the box office," Dergarabedian said today. "This isn't a terrible opening."
And if it wasn't a great opening, then that's not necessarily the fault of its leading man.
"None of these [superhero movies this summer] are $100 million-plus [openers] because this is going to be what happens when you delve into the lesser-known heroes," he said.
Six summers ago, not even Batman could put together a $50 million weekend (for Batman Begins). Now, post-Iron Man, post-Dark Knight, the bar is higher—and so are the budgets. Green Lantern reportedly cost as much as $200 million to produce.
That's a lot of green for any star—or hero—to make good on.
Elsewhere, Super 8, last weekend's No. 1 film, slipped to second, but showed staying power.
Jim Carrey's family movie, Mr. Popper's Penguins, did OK, debuting in third.
The rise of DC's Green Lantern, meanwhile, basically meant the end of Marvel's Thor. The latter film dropped from the Top 10 after a six-weekend stay, and, per Box Office Mojo stats, a $435 million-plus worldwide gross. Fast Five also ended its Top 10 run, after seven weekends and $588 million worldwide.
Here's a complete look at the top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations: