In spite of the mild enthusiasm that Green Lantern has found upon its release, both in terms of box office performance and critics’ reviews, THR report that Warner Bros. are already planning the film’s sequel to set up a new superhero franchise.

Green Lantern had a budget of $200m., with what’s said to have been a hefty, close to nine-figure, advertising budget on top of that, and it took in just shy of $53m. in the States on its opening weekend, which has to be a disappointment for the studio.

Its current gross stands at just under $120m. worldwide, so if it continues as it has been doing this past week, it may well break even, but profits likely won’t be that significant until DVD and Blu-Ray sales start being accrued a few months down the line.

Nonetheless, Warner Bros. are still planning to go ahead with a sequel. Without any spoilers for those who are yet to see the film, like most comic book films do, the first Green Lantern leaves the door wide open for a sequel. Variety reported last year that Michael Goldenberg had already been hired to write the sequel for the DC Comics superhero, a year before Green Lantern was even released, so the potential for a sequel has always been there.

Following the performance at the box office for Green Lantern Warner Bros. will no doubt want to take a serious look at the current script for the sequel and make sure that it’s going to be a sound investment, and do whatever they have to to increase the probability of returning with a much stronger sequel to give them a chance of setting up a franchise, with a long-term aim of at least one more film beyond the second.

That could potentially mean a complete re-write of the script, which could take some time. The studio of course has enough projects being released in the next few months alone that are all but guaranteed to be successful to take their time with a Green Lantern sequel, including the final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise; Horrible Bosses; Crazy, Stupid, Love.; A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas; Happy Feet 2; J. Edgar; and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Whilst I do admit that Green Lantern didn’t quite live up to its potential, I still thought it was a good film with a great cast, and I think a sequel which listens to the criticisms of the first film could be a much better film. The mistakes from the first film will hopefully be learned, and allow them to develop a much stronger script to fully realize the infinite potential Hal Jordan’s ring grants him, because it really does have the potential to be a very successful franchise.

Some of the blame for the film has landed with its director, Martin Campbell, and I think there’s a good chance that a sequel to the film would be helmed by another director, possibly one with more experience in the superhero genre. Ryan Reynolds, on the other hand, has been praised for his brilliant performance in the film, and along with his supporting cast (Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong), he makes the film likeable, and Warner Bros. should definitely be set on having him return as the leading Lantern.

It’s still pretty early days to be talking about a sequel, but with a script already written and confirmation that the studio is still moving ahead with its plans to turn the project into a franchise, the outlook for Green Lantern 2 (:subtitle to-be-confirmed) is looking very plausible, if not probable.