Weekend Box Office: G.I. Joe Blasts to Victory

GI Joe: Rise of CobraIt’s a sad day in America. Most likely, we’ll mark this day in our calendars as a day to bow our heads in shame, to ponder how normal American citizens gave so much power away to those money-loving studio heads. For me, it’s my own personal nightmare (as far as box office nightmares go)…

Yes, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra overcame incredibly bad buzz and horribly cheesy movie trailers to make $56.2 million in its opening weekend, the fourth-highest August opening ever. This amounts to a per-screen average of over $14,000.

I am floored. With everything that I have seen over the last eight months regarding this money, I was hoping – almost fanatically praying – that audiences would ignore the strong brand name and give it a $20 million opening or so. I thought it was going to be this year’s Speed Racer. But I fell into the trap movie buffs like me can fall into so easily: I took my personal opinions and extended them to expectations for the film’s box office performance. I ignored the fact that Paramount has been marketing this film relentlessly; that they were being very selective about who they screened the movie to; that this movie is, in fact, using one of the strongest toy and cartoon brands out there; and that people will go see mindless action films.

But, America… why?

The only dignity I can hold onto is that despite its fantastic opening, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is rumored to have cost $200 million (with a lot more spent on marketing) and that it is highly unlikely the film well get to that level. The people who wants to see this movie saw it this weekend; and next weekend, it will plummet over 60%. But I’m no box office expert, so that’s just me hoping.

In other weekend box office news, Julie & Julia opened strong in second with $20.1 million, a pretty good take for a cutesy movie that didn’t seem to have  a very strong hook. Funny People plummeted to fifth with only $7.9 million, making this movie Judd Apatow’s first directorial failure. A Perfect Getaway, despite a 71% fresh rating from the Top Critics, opened in seventh with only $5.8 million – a poor release date and lack of promotion killed this one. Lastly, the excellent romantic film (500) Days of Summer broke into tenth place with $3.7 million against only 817 venues.

For the full list of box office winners and losers, visit the FilmJabber homepage or read Box Office Prophet’s analysis.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Box Office
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