Weekend Wrap Up: GI Joe Kicks Ass to Number One

Easter Weekend traditionally isn’t among the bigger holidays when it comes to the box office and it pales in comparison to Christmas. Then again, so does everything. Nonetheless, this was a very strong weekend. There was no runaway success or monster blockbuster, but rather several films all doing well. It’s generally always a good sign when six different movies manage to break $10 million. But in the end, the GI Joes took down everybody else.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson helped propel G.I. Joe: Retaliation to a solid opening of $41.2 million, bringing its total to $51.7 million after the strange decision to launch on Thursday. Sure, you might look at that opening and think “wow, that’s a whole $15 million below the first G.I. Joe.” And, yes, that’s true, but I think this opening is very good considering all the things working against this film.

First, there’s the obvious problem that reception to the first flick just plain wasn’t very good. Secondly, the first one was a summer release, which lends itself it higher opening weekends. Third, Retaliation opened on a Thursday; had it opened on a Friday, its weekend gross likely would’ve been in the upper 40s. And finally, delayed release dates almost always work against films. So in spite of all that, Retaliation did just fine and there’s still the possibility it could outgross the original, especially considering it was a better movie. It still wasn’t good per se, but it sure was better.

Last week’s champ, The Croods, got pushed to second, but it held well, dropping 39% to $26.5 million. That’s not quite as good a hold as How to Train Your Dragon, but I’m sure Dreamworks is plenty happy nonetheless. The totals stands at $88.6 million now and ending up in the realm of $160 million is definitely possible, especially considering there are virtually no family releases coming soon.

Welp….never underestimate Tyler Perry. His latest flick, Temptation, opened to a robust $22.3 million. And that was from only 2047 theatres, meaning its per theatre average was almost better than G.I. Joe’s. I should’ve known this one would break out, as it targets a demographic that almost never has a movie aimed directly at them: black women. So, kudos to you, Tyler Perry. I can’t see anyway that the budget here is higher than $10 million, so this will end up turning a hell of a profit.

Olympus has Fallen fell a predictable 54% to $14 million. That’s still a better hold than A Good Day to Die Hard and the Gerard Butler flick shouldn’t have any problem beating out the Bruce Willis movie, which I don’t anyone saw coming two months ago. OHF has $54.7 million in the bank, only $12 million away from the total of A Good Day to Die Hard. At least Bruce Willis has G.I. Joe to be happy about.

Oz had drops in the mid-40% range in both in its second and third weekends, and this weekend just continues that trend. The James Franco picture fell 46% to $11.6 million. It’s just shy of becoming 2013’s first $200 million film at $198.3 million. Going from 2013’s biggest success so far to one of its biggest misfires, The Host opened to just $11 million. In retrospect, I wildly overestimated this one, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Now that this is out of the way, Stephanie Meyer can finally just fade away into obscurity. Until they try to make a Bree Tanner movie or she needs a paycheck and writes another Twilight book.

Seventh goes to The Call, which fell 46% to $4.8 million. With $39.5 million in total against a meager $13 million budget, this is enough of a success to keep Halle Berry at least a little relevant for a bit longer. Admission dropped 47% to $3.3 million, raising its gross to $11.8. That seems bad, but the budget was only $13 million, so there’s not going to be too much money lost on this one.

Despite adding 275 theatres, Spring Breakers still fell 43% to $2.7 million. Apparently it’s failing to gain much traction with a wider audience. Even still, its $10.1 million gross against a very low $5 million budget makes it at the very least a push for the studio. Rounding out the top ten, we have The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which has managed just $20.6 million so far. It was down 70% this weekend and grossed $1.3 million.

After two horrible months, March picked the box office up in a big way, starting with Oz and finishing with G.I. Joe. Even still, nothing could even approach the unreal success of 2012’s The Hunger Games. Two releases hope to keep the good times rolling next weekend, but both of them are retreads of familiar franchises.

Evil Dead: I hadn’t seen any of the Evil Dead franchise before I watched the original a few weeks ago, and I can tell why it became a cult classic. The remake seems creepy and all…but that’s not really the point. Evil Dead was never a straight horror film, but we’ll see if the remake has that same unique brand of intentionally over the top self-parody. Despite Sam Raimi’s increased fame, I think this remake will still only open to around $10 million.

Jurassic Park 3D: It’s hard to believe that Jurassic Park is already 20 years old. Sure makes me feel like an old man. But what’s perhaps more incredible is that most of the CGI and special effects actually hold up really well. Hell, I think the special effects in Jurassic Park are still better than most of today’s films. It’s a good idea to bring it back in 3D on the 20th anniversary so a new generation can experience it. This is the first I’ve actually wanted to see in 3D since….Jackass 3D? Wow, it’s been a while. Anyways, I think an opening around $20 million is in store here. See ya next weekend, everybody.

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