Greenland (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Greenland (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRic Roman Waugh
Written byChris Sparling
Produced by
CinematographyDana Gonzales
Edited byGabriel Fleming
Music byDavid Buckley
Distributed bySTXfilms
Release date
  • December 18, 2020 (2020-12-18) (United States)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$35 million[citation needed]
Box office$52.3 million[1]

Greenland is a 2020 American disaster thriller film directed by Ric Roman Waugh and written by Chris Sparling. The film stars Gerard Butler (who also produced), Morena Baccarin, Roger Dale Floyd, Scott Glenn, David Denman, and Hope Davis, and 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 STXfilms, through video on demand on December 18, 2020, and then played on HBO Max and Amazon Prime. It was still released theatrically in other territories, beginning with Belgium on July 29, 2020. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed $52.3 million worldwide with a production budget of $35 million.

A sequel, Greenland: Migration, is in development, with Waugh, Butler, Baccarin and Floyd all returning.[2]


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.

While in a store, John receives a strange automated message from DHS 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. Previously expected to land near Bermuda, the fragment instead strikes Tampa, Florida, vaporizing the city and most of the state. John once again receives a call with instructions to head to Robins Air Force Base for an evacuation flight. The Garritys then learn from their neighbor Ed that comet Clarke is on a direct collision course with Earth, and the entire planet will be bombarded with hundreds of fragments within the next two days in a cataclysmic event, with the largest fragment expected to cause an extinction level event. The family packs up and flees, unable to take anyone else, as they would be denied boarding.

At Robins, while consolidating their belongings into one bag, the family discovers that Nathan's insulin was left 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, destroying several evacuation planes when gunfire ignites jet fuel. Returning to their car, he finds Allison's note that they left for her father's in Lexington, Kentucky. After getting medical supplies from a looted store, Allison and Nathan are picked up by Ralph and Judy Vento. Against Judy's objections, Ralph kidnaps Nathan, hoping to use him and the wristbands to board a flight.

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 Greenland, the apparent evacuation site. 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. Back at the evacuation site, Ralph and a reluctant Judy are arrested after failing to pass as Nathan's parents, and Allison and Nathan reunite shortly afterwards at a FEMA camp across the street. The following morning, John learns that millions of people have already perished in impacts worldwide and the largest fragment will make impact in approximately 24 hours.

Stealing a car, John finally reaches his father-in-law, Dale, and Nathan and Allison arrive shortly after. While watching the news, the family learn about a complex of underground bunkers near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland where the evacuees are going. John realizes that they have just enough time to reach Osgoode, so he, Allison, and Nathan decide to leave. Declining to go, Dale gives them his truck. Hours later, in Upstate New York, the family gets caught in a traffic jam when a shower of molten debris rains down, but manage to seek refuge below an underpass. Afterwards, they continue on to Canada, learning that Clarke's largest fragment will impact Western Europe, with the resulting after-effects expected to wipe out more than 75% of all life on Earth. That night, they arrive at the Osgoode airport and persuade the pilots of the last plane to take them.

The next morning, as they fly over Greenland, another fragment strikes off the coast, causing them to crash-land. The survivors flag down a military truck and are quickly ushered inside the bunker complex right as the largest fragment enters the atmosphere and slams into the planet, devastating civilization. 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 other occupants exit the shelter 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 the survivors 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.[10]


In March 2019, STX Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film.[11] 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.[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.[16] The studio spent an estimated $10 million promoting the film domestically.[17]


Box office and VoD[edit]

Greenland was first released in Belgium, making $73,112 from 55 theaters on its opening weekend.[18] 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.[19][20] In its third weekend of international release, the film finished first in nine countries and made a total of $2.82 million.[21][22] 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.[23]

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.[24] The film remained near the top of rental charts into February, finishing first at both Google Play and Apple TV.[25][26][27] 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.[17]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 78% based on 155 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."[28] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29]

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."[30] 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."[31]

Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "[the film is n]ot just plausible but recognizable. There's very little otherworldly about this cinematic apocalypse. These are the people, places and, yes, behaviors we know all too well".[32]

Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter said "The gritty verisimilitude that the star and director Ric Roman Waugh bring to the table goes a long way in making this B-level blockbuster a timely and guilty pleasure".[33] Chris Hewitt of the Star Tribune called it a "capably done [film]".[34]

According to Matthew Monagle of The Austin Chronicle, "Greenland might be a B-movie at heart, but in keeping at least one toe on the ground at all times, the filmmakers craft something that punches well above its weight class".[35]

The criticism of the film, just like its praise, was abundant as well. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club had compared Greenland to Roland Emmerich's films,[36] while Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote "A thriller isn't supposed to be a cakewalk; if it were, it wouldn't thrill".[37]


In June 2021, it was announced a sequel titled Greenland: Migration was in development, and will reportedly center on the Garritys' journey across a frozen European wasteland to find a new home.[38] The following month, STX acquired the worldwide distribution rights for the film at 2021 Cannes Film Festival for $75 million,[39] and agreed to give the sequel a $65 million budget.[40]


  1. ^ "Greenland (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  2. ^ Barraclough, Leo (June 14, 2021). "Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin to Reprise Roles in 'Greenland' Sequel". Variety.
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 13, 2018). "Chris Evans To Star In Neill Blomkamp's 'Greenland'; STXinternational & Anton Board Disaster Thriller – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  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.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (June 18, 2019). "Morena Baccarin In Final Talks To Join Gerard Butler In 'Greenland' Thriller At STX". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 15, 2019). "'Greenland': STX Gerard Butler-Led Thriller Adds Andrew Bachelor & Scott Glenn". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  8. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (August 15, 2019). "David Denman Cast In STX's 'Greenland' Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  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 August 12, 2021.
  10. ^ "Greenland: David Buckley Releases His Score via Music.Film and Varese Sarabande!". September 26, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  11. ^ Kiladay, Gregg (March 14, 2019). "Gerard Butler's 'Greenland' to Be Released Domestically by STXfilms". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 12, 2020). "'Tenet' Pushes Gerard Butler Action Pic 'Greenland' To 14th August". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 14, 2020). "Gerard Butler Action Pic 'Greenland' Jumps To 4Q Opening Stateside – Update". Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Evangelista, Chris (September 30, 2020). "'Greenland' Starring Gerard Butler Skipping Theaters and Headed to VOD in October". /Film. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  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 August 12, 2021.
  16. ^ Moreau, Jordan (October 12, 2020). "Gerard Butler's 'Greenland' Sets Premium On-Demand Debut After Skipping U.S. Theaters". Variety.
  17. ^ 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 August 12, 2021.
  18. ^ "Belgian 2020 Weekend 31: July 29-August 2, 2020". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  19. ^ 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 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Moreau, Jordan (August 9, 2020). "Box Office: Shia LaBeouf's 'The Tax Collector' Takes In $317,000". Variety.
  21. ^ 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 12, 2021.
  22. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 30, 2020). "'Tenet' Triumphs With $53M Worldwide Launch From 40 Offshore Markets & Canada – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  23. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (November 22, 2020). "'Caught In Time' Leads China Weekend; Japan's 'Demon Slayer' Continues Killer Run – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  24. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (December 21, 2020). "'The Croods: A New Age' Beats Out 'Tenet' On VOD in Surprising Shakeup". IndieWire. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  25. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 1, 2021). "Tenacious 'Tenet' Still Soaring on VOD Charts as 'News of the World' Stays Strong". IndieWire. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  26. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 8, 2021). "'Malcolm & Marie' Soars at Netflix as 'Greenland' Continues to Score at a Premium VOD Price". IndieWire. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  27. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 15, 2021). "'Croods 2' and 'Wonder Woman 1984' Show VOD Rebound as 'Barb and Star' Makes Strong Debut". IndieWire. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  28. ^ "Greenland (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  29. ^ "Greenland Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  30. ^ Roeper, Richard (December 16, 2020). "'Greenland': Comet threatens Earth in disaster movie that's more than just chaos". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  31. ^ Ehrlich, David (December 16, 2020). "'Greenland' Review: Gerard Butler Stars in a Disaster Movie That's Better than 2020 Deserves". IndieWire. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  32. ^ Walsh, Katie (December 16, 2020). "Review: 'Greenland' delivers a Giant Comet 2020, extinction-level event". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  33. ^ Mintzer, Jordan (October 14, 2020). "'Greenland': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  34. ^ Hewitt, Chris (December 17, 2020). "Apocalyptic adventure film 'Greenland' is not much fun right now". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  35. ^ Monagle, Matthew (December 18, 2020). "Greenland". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  36. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (December 17, 2020). "Armageddon is free family therapy in the Gerard Butler disaster movie Greenland". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  37. ^ Gleiberman, Owe (December 16, 2020). "'Greenland' Review: Gerard Butler Faces a Comet Hitting Earth, but This Domestic Sci-Fi Thriller Achieves a Mostly Shallow Impact". Variety.
  38. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (June 14, 2021). "Gerard Butler Reunites With Ric Roman Waugh For Sequel 'Greenland: Migration' — Cannes Market". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  39. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 6, 2021). "'Greenland' Sequel 'Migration' Sells To STX In Massive $75M+ Deal At Cannes Virtual Market". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  40. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 6, 2021). "'Greenland' Sequel 'Migration' Sells To STX In Massive $75M+ Deal At Cannes Virtual Market". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.

External links[edit]