Greenland (film)

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Greenland poster.jpeg
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$43.1 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 on June 12, 2020 in the United States, Greenland was delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is scheduled to be released domestically by STX Entertainment through video on demand on December 18, 2020, and then play on HBO Max. It was still released theatrically in other territories, beginning with Belgium on July 29, 2020.


John Garrity is a Scottish structural engineer living in Atlanta, Georgia with his estranged wife, Allison, and their diabetic son, Nathan. He returns home from work to reconcile with his family and prepare to host a party with their neighbors to watch the passing of a recently-discovered interstellar comet, named Clarke.

Arriving at a grocery store, John and Nathan notice a fleet of military cargo transport jets flying north in formation, much to their bewilderment. In the store, John receives a strange automated phone call, informing him that he and his family have been pre-selected for emergency sheltering. Worried by this, John rushes home to the party, just as a comet fragment enters the atmosphere on live television. A shockwave rattles the area and blows out windows as the fragment, previously anticipated to land in the Atlantic Ocean, impacts Tampa, Florida and lays waste to much of the state. John once again receives an automated call, which also displays on the television in front of his family and neighbors with instructions to be at Robins Air Force Base to make an evacuation flight. Terrified, their neighbors storm out of the house to be close with their families while the Garrity's rush to pack up and leave. Before they can, their neighbor, Ed, tells them that Clarke is a giant cluster of objects that are expected to collide with Earth over the next two days, with the biggest fragment expected to cause an extinction level event. Debra, another one of their neighbors, desperately begs to leave their daughter Ellie with the Garrity's to be saved, but John speeds off, knowing she would be turned away.

At Robins, a line of traffic prevents the family from reaching the gate and forces them to continue on foot, with Nathan accidentally leaving his insulin in the car. They are allowed in with the QR code on John's phone and their wristbands. When forced to consolidate their belongings into one bag, they also discover that Nathan's insulin is missing. John hurries back to the car to find it while Allison and Nathan wait to board the plane, who are escorted away once a soldier learns of Nathan's ailment. Allison begs for them to be let on the plane, but is unsuccessful, and the two are escorted off the base. Oblivious to this, John makes it back to the plane in time, where another passenger confronts him about the medicine and learns that his family was turned away, too. John demands to be let off the plane just as the base is breached by an angry mob wanting to be saved. A gunfight breaks out, inadvertently blowing up many of the evacuation planes and killing dozens while John narrowly escapes.

Upon returning to their car, he finds a note left by Allison that she and Nathan are heading to her father's house in Lexington, Kentucky. After narrowly escaping a store being looted, Allison and Nathan are picked up by couple Ralph and Judy Vento, who is also headed that way. Ralph tells them they will take them as far as Knoxville, Tennessee. Meanwhile, John is walking on foot through a small city, where looting is taking place in masses as worldwide panic ensues. He comes across a rooftop party and attempts to call Allison. He briefly gets through to her before the call is dropped, and a small comet fragment lands nearby, with an approaching Clarke looming ominously in the night sky.

Through conversation, Ralph and Judy find out that Allison and Nathan were selected for evacuation but denied entry, and Ralph pulls over to kick Allison out, take her wristband and kidnap Nathan, much to Judy's protest. John manages to hitch a ride on a truck with other survivors, where he learns through a young man named Colin that the military is flying to bunkers in Greenland for refuge. Another survivor, noticing John's wristband and believing only American-born citizens should have been selected, attempts to fight him for it. The ensuing chaos results in the truck nearly crashing, which kills Colin, and the hostile man is gruesomely killed by John. Meanwhile, Ralph, Judy, and a frightened Nathan later arrive at a FEMA camp where they attempt to pass as Nathan's parents to guarantee their safety as well, but they are detained when Nathan tells a soldier that he was kidnapped. Allison eventually ends up at the same camp, where a man helps her look for Nathan, and the two are reunited.

The following day, John wanders through an empty neighborhood and breaks into a house to find food and water. He turns on a TV to see various news channels reporting the worldwide destruction and a countdown to the final impact. He steals a car and continues to Allison's father's house, where he finds her and Nathan to be absent, much to her father's dismay. Allison and Nathan soon get off at a small shop nearby and call the house, and are picked up by John and her father. They return to his house, defeated and accepting their fate as the news continues to report on the approaching apocalypse. However, recalling some information from Colin, John realizes they have enough time to make a last-minute flight in Canada to reach the bunkers. The family agrees to leave, saying goodbye to Allison's father before continuing in his truck.

They reach Upstate New York when an emergency alert warns them of molten debris threatening the region. Small fireballs rain from the sky, destroying cars, people, and downing a helicopter as people scramble to escape. John manages to drive them to an underpass for refuge and receives burns on his arm when saving others from a burning car. The meteor shower ceases, leaving much of the area burning, but allowing the family to continue to Canada as it is revealed that Clarke's largest fragment will make impact somewhere in Western Europe. John drives onto the runway as the plane is about to take off, and an angered pilot confronts the family. He argues that the plane is full and cannot take any more passengers but later agrees to take only Nathan and Allison, with the latter eventually convincing the pilot to take all of them.

The plane approaches Greenland, however, another fragment strikes off the coast, and the subsequent shockwave causes the plane to crash land into a valley, killing the pilots. After John leads his family and the survivors to the nearby airbase, the group embrace as Clarke enters the atmosphere and impacts. Nine months later, cities around the world lie in ruin with the majority of surface life eradicated as the Greenland base attempts to make radio contact with other survivors. Meanwhile, the bunker doors open, allowing the survivors to step outside for the first time to see a radically changed landscape. The crowds cheer with joy upon seeing a pair of birds flying around as they exit the base. An orbital view reveals a massive glowing crater where Clarke impacted and several smaller craters dotting the planet's surface as Greenland finally makes contact with other stations around the globe, who each say that the atmosphere is finally clearing.


Additionally, Holt McCallany and Adam Cronan portray the pilots that transport the Garritys to Greenland.


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 to 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]


Box office[edit]

Greenland was first released in Belgium, making $73,112 from 55 theaters on its opening weekend.[16] 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.[17][18] In its third weekend of international release, the film finished first in nine countries and made a total of $2.82 million.[19][20]

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.[21]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on seven reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10.[22]


  1. ^ a b Moreau, Jordan (October 12, 2020). "Gerard Butler's 'Greenland' Sets Premium On-Demand Debut After Skipping U.S. Theaters". Variety. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Greenland (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 23, 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. 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. 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. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 14, 2020). "Gerard Butler Action Pic 'Greenland' Jumps To 4Q Opening Stateside – Update". 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". Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  16. ^ "Belgian 2020 Weekend 31: July 29-August 2, 2020". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  17. ^ 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. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  18. ^ Moreau, Jordan (August 9, 2020). "Box Office: Shia LaBeouf's 'The Tax Collector' Takes In $317,000". Variety. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  19. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 16, 2020). "'Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone' Nears $1B WW With Magical China Reissue – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  20. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 30, 2020). "'Tenet' Triumphs With $53M Worldwide Launch From 40 Offshore Markets & Canada – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  21. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (November 22, 2020). "'Caught In Time' Leads China Weekend; Japan's 'Demon Slayer' Continues Killer Run – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  22. ^ "Greenland (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 30, 2020.

External links[edit]