|Directed by||Ric Roman Waugh|
|Written by||Chris Sparling|
|Music by||David Buckley|
|Edited by||Gabriel Fleming|
|Distributed by||STX Films|
|Box office||$52.3 million|
Greenland is a 2020 American disaster film directed by Ric Roman Waugh and written by Chris Sparling. The film stars Gerard Butler (who also co-produced), Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd, Scott Glenn, David Denman, and Hope Davis. The film follows a family who must fight for survival as a planet-destroying comet races to Earth.
Originally scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States, Greenland was delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film was released domestically by STX Entertainment through video on demand on December 18, 2020, and will then play on HBO Max and Amazon Prime. It was still released theatrically in other territories, beginning with Belgium on July 29, 2020. It received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed over $47 million worldwide with a production budget of $35 million.
John Garrity is a structural engineer living in Atlanta, Georgia, with his estranged wife, Allison, and their diabetic son, Nathan. He returns home to watch the near-earth passing of a recently discovered interstellar comet named Clarke, with his family and neighbors.
Just before, while in a store, John receives a strange automated message, informing him that he and his family have been selected for emergency sheltering. Confused and concerned, he returns home just as a comet fragment enters the atmosphere on live television. Expected to land near Bermuda, the fragment instead strikes Tampa, Florida, vaporizing the city and most of the state. John once again receives an automated call with instructions to go to Warner Robins Air Force Base for an evacuation flight.
The Garritys then learn from their neighbor Ed that Comet Clarke is a giant cluster of objects expected to bombard Earth over the next two days, with the biggest expected to cause an extinction level event. The family packs up and flees, refusing to take anyone else, as they would be denied boarding.
At Chupapi Munyano Air Force Base, while consolidating their belongings into one bag, the family discovers that Nathan's insulin is in the car. John hurries back for it, while Allison and Nathan are told that they cannot board because of Nathan's diabetes, and are then escorted off the base. Realizing what happened, John leaves the base as a panicked mob breaks in, and in the chaos several planes explode.
Returning to their car, he finds Allison's note that they left for her father's in Lexington, Kentucky. Getting medical supplies from a looted store, mother and son get a ride with Ralph and Judy Vento. Ralph kidnaps Nathan, hoping to use him and the wristbands to board.
John hitches a ride on a truck with other survivors from the base. A young man named Colin tells him they are going to Osgoode, Ontario where private planes are flying to the evacuation spot in Greenland. Another man sees John's wristband and attempts to fight him for it, causing the truck to crash and Colin to be killed. The hostile man is then killed by John before he leaves. Ralph and a reluctant Judy fail to pass as Nathan's parents at the evacuation site and are arrested. Allison finds Nathan shortly afterwards at a FEMA camp across the street.
The following day, John watches the destruction and a countdown to final impact on TV. Stealing a car, he finally reaches his father-in-law, Dale's and Nathan and Allison arrive a little later. The family learn about a complex of underground bunkers near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland where the evacuees are going, John realizes they barely have enough time to reach Osgoode. The family then says goodbye to Dale, continuing in his truck.
Hours later, in Upstate New York they get caught in a traffic jam when a shower of fragments rain down, destroying vehicles and killing numerous people. John manages to drive to an underpass for refuge and they continue to Canada, learning Clarke's largest fragment will make impact somewhere in Western Europe. They arrive at the airport and persuade the pilot of the last plane to take them.
The next morning, as they approach Greenland, another fragment strikes nearby, causing them to crash land into a valley. The survivors are picked up by a military truck and taken to Thule, and are quickly ushered inside the bunker complex right as Clarke enters the atmosphere and collides with Europe, devastating the planet.
Nine months later, the bunkers attempt to make radio contact with other potential survivors as various cities are shown in total ruin including Sydney, Mexico City, Paris and Chicago. The Garritys and others of the shelter exit to see a radically-changed landscape, as Greenland makes contact with other stations around the globe. Each are relieved to hear each other and report that the atmosphere is finally clearing, potentially giving humanity the chance to rebuild.
- Gerard Butler as John Garrity
- Morena Baccarin as Allison Garrity
- Roger Dale Floyd as Nathan Garrity
- Scott Glenn as Dale, Allison's father
- David Denman as Ralph Vento
- Hope Davis as Judy Vento
- Andrew Bachelor as Colin
- Merrin Dungey as Major Breen
- Gary Weeks as Ed Pruitt
- Tracey Bonner as Peggy Pruitt
- Claire Bronson as Debra Jones
- Madison Johnson as Ellie Jones
- Holt McCallany as pilot
In May 2018, Chris Evans joined the cast of the film, with Neill Blomkamp directing from a screenplay by Chris Sparling. In February 2019, it was announced Blomkamp would no longer direct the film. That same month, Ric Roman Waugh joined the project as director, with Gerard Butler being added to the cast of the film, replacing Blomkamp and Evans respectively, with Butler producing under his G-Base banner. In June 2019, Morena Baccarin joined the cast of the film. In July 2019, Scott Glenn, Andrew Bachelor and Roger Dale Floyd also joined, as did David Denman, in August.
In March 2019, STX Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film. It was originally scheduled to be theatrically released on June 12, 2020, but was delayed to July 30, 2020 and then August 14, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its domestic release was again delayed on July 24, moving to September 25, 2020. The film's release schedule includes Belgium (July 29), France (August 5), and Scandinavia (August 12). On September 14, it was announced the film's American release has been delayed again, this time to sometime later in 2020.
On September 30, the studio announced the film would be skipping theaters and going to be available to buy via video on demand on October 13, before being made available to rent on October 27. The following day, the studio announced the film had its U.S. pay TV and streaming rights sold to HBO for $20–30 million, who will release it in early 2021 and have it stream on HBO Max and Amazon Prime for the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia releases. It was later reported the VOD release date had been pushed to December 18. The studio spent an estimated $10 million promoting the film domestically.
Box office and VOD
Greenland was first released in Belgium, making $73,112 from 55 theaters on its opening weekend. On its first day of release in France, the film made $255,000 with 31,000 tickets sold, 61% ahead of Butler's Olympus Has Fallen (2013) despite fewer theaters and tight COVID-19 restrictions. Overall, it debuted to $1.09 million in the country, with a 10-day international total of $1.3 million. In its third weekend of international release, the film finished first in nine countries and made a total of $2.82 million. In November the film opened in China and Mexico, debuting to $3.4 million and $882,000, respectively; the running global total was $43.1 million.
Upon the film's VOD release in the United States, it was the second-most rented on FandangoNow, and third on Apple TV and Google Play. The film remained near the top of rental charts into February, finishing first at both Google Play and Apple TV. In February 24, IndieWire estimated the film had already netted STX Films $60–80 million in profit, including around $32 million from two million PVOD rentals.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 78% based on 149 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Beware, comets of Greenland: Gerard Butler is here to protect Earth – and show audiences an improbably entertaining time." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "Unlike the typical, effects-laden, comet-threatens-the-planet B-movie, Greenland is more in the vein of Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, with the scenes of chaos and destruction serving as the backdrop for the story of one family's desperate quest for survival — even when circumstances have ripped them apart." Writing for IndieWire, David Ehrlich gave the film a grade of B and said, "By eschewing spectacle and focusing on the human scale of a crisis, Greenland becomes the rare disaster movie that feels realistic."
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