Greenland (film)

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Greenland (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRic Roman Waugh
Produced by
Written byChris Sparling
Music byDavid Buckley
CinematographyDana Gonzales
Edited byGabriel Fleming
Distributed bySTX Films
Release date
  • July 29, 2020 (2020-07-29) (Belgium)
  • December 18, 2020 (2020-12-18) (United States)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$35 million[1]
Box office$52.3 million[2]

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.



In May 2018, Chris Evans joined the cast of the film, with Neill Blomkamp directing from a screenplay by Chris Sparling.[3] In February 2019, it was announced Blomkamp would no longer direct the film.[4] 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.[5] In June 2019, Morena Baccarin joined the cast of the film.[6] In July 2019, Scott Glenn, Andrew Bachelor and Roger Dale Floyd also joined,[7] as did David Denman, in August.[8]

Principal photography began in June 2019 and wrapped up on August 16 of the same year in Atlanta.[9]

David Buckley, who previously worked with Waugh on Angel Has Fallen, composed the film's score.


In March 2019, STX Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film.[10] 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.[11][12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] It was later reported the VOD release date had been pushed to December 18.[1] The studio spent an estimated $10 million promoting the film domestically.[16]


Box office and VOD[edit]

Greenland was first released in Belgium, making $73,112 from 55 theaters on its opening weekend.[17] 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.[18][19] In its third weekend of international release, the film finished first in nine countries and made a total of $2.82 million.[20][21] 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.[22]

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.[23] The film remained near the top of rental charts into February, finishing first at both Google Play and Apple TV.[24][25][26] 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.[16]

Critical response[edit]

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."[27] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[28]

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."[29] 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."[30]


  1. ^ a b Moreau, Jordan (October 12, 2020). "Gerard Butler's 'Greenland' Sets Premium On-Demand Debut After Skipping U.S. Theaters". Variety. Archived from the original on October 15, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Greenland (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 13, 2018). "Chris Evans To Star In Neill Blomkamp's 'Greenland'; STXinternational & Anton Board Disaster Thriller – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  4. ^ Marc, Christopher (February 9, 2019). "Neill Blomkamp No Longer Directing 'Greenland' – Will Likely Pivot To 'RoboCop Returns' Instead". HN Entertainment. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Frater, Patrick (February 9, 2019). "Gerard Butler to Star in Thriller 'Greenland' for STX International". Variety. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (June 18, 2019). "Morena Baccarin In Final Talks To Join Gerard Butler In 'Greenland' Thriller At STX". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 15, 2019). "'Greenland': STX Gerard Butler-Led Thriller Adds Andrew Bachelor & Scott Glenn". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  8. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (August 15, 2019). "David Denman Cast In STX's 'Greenland' Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  9. ^ Tyler, Jacob (June 4, 2019). "Exclusive: Gerard Butler's 'Greenland' will now begin filming June 24th & wrap August 16th in Atlanta". Omega Underground. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  10. ^ Kiladay, Gregg (March 14, 2019). "Gerard Butler's 'Greenland' to Be Released Domestically by STXfilms". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 12, 2020). "'Tenet' Pushes Gerard Butler Action Pic 'Greenland' To 14th August". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "Tom Hanks' GREYHOUND has fallen back in the ranks--pushed back a month from May 8 to June 12, where it will now occupy space with Universal's CANDYMAN retool and STX's actioner, GREENLAND". March 5, 2020. Archived from the original on October 15, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 14, 2020). "Gerard Butler Action Pic 'Greenland' Jumps To 4Q Opening Stateside – Update". Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  14. ^ Evangelista, Chris (September 30, 2020). "'Greenland' Starring Gerard Butler Skipping Theaters and Headed to VOD in October". /Film. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Wiseman, Andreas (October 1, 2020). "ErosSTX Gerard Butler Thriller 'Greenland' Skipping U.S. Theatrical Release For PVOD; HBO Nabs Pay-TV & Streaming In Big Deal". Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Brueggemann, Tom (February 25, 2021). "For STX, 'Greenland' Is a Major PVOD Hit; for Exhibitors, It's Yet Another Existential Threat". IndieWire. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "Belgian 2020 Weekend 31: July 29-August 2, 2020". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  18. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 9, 2020). "'1917' Leads China Weekend; Korea Has Yet Another Hit With 'Deliver Us From Evil' & 'Greenland' Makes Hay In France – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  19. ^ Moreau, Jordan (August 9, 2020). "Box Office: Shia LaBeouf's 'The Tax Collector' Takes In $317,000". Variety. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 16, 2020). "'Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone' Nears $1B WW With Magical China Reissue – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 30, 2020). "'Tenet' Triumphs With $53M Worldwide Launch From 40 Offshore Markets & Canada – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 31, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  22. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (November 22, 2020). "'Caught In Time' Leads China Weekend; Japan's 'Demon Slayer' Continues Killer Run – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  23. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (December 21, 2020). "'The Croods: A New Age' Beats Out 'Tenet' On VOD in Surprising Shakeup". IndieWire. Archived from the original on December 21, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  24. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 1, 2021). "Tenacious 'Tenet' Still Soaring on VOD Charts as 'News of the World' Stays Strong". IndieWire. Archived from the original on February 6, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  25. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 8, 2021). "'Malcolm & Marie' Soars at Netflix as 'Greenland' Continues to Score at a Premium VOD Price". IndieWire. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  26. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 15, 2021). "'Croods 2′ and 'Wonder Woman 1984' Show VOD Rebound as 'Barb and Star' Makes Strong Debut". IndieWire. Archived from the original on February 16, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  27. ^ "Greenland (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  28. ^ "Greenland Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  29. ^ Roeper, Richard (December 16, 2020). "'Greenland': Comet threatens Earth in disaster movie that's more than just chaos". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  30. ^ Ehrlich, David (December 16, 2020). "'Greenland' Review: Gerard Butler Stars in a Disaster Movie That's Better than 2020 Deserves". IndieWire. Retrieved December 16, 2020.

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