G.I. Joe movie tops weekend box office

G.I. Joe is the latest toy to invade Hollywood and plant its blockbuster flag.

LOS ANGELES — G.I. Joe is the latest toy to invade Hollywood and plant its blockbuster flag.

Inspired by the Hasbro action figure, Paramount’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra took command of the weekend box office with a $56.2 million debut domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday. G.I. Joe also took in $44.3 million overseas for a worldwide total of $100.5 million.

Meryl Streep’s Julia Childs tale Julie & Julia opened a solid No. 2 as an alternative for adult crowds with $20.1 million. While G.I. Joe was the first choice for young males, women 35 and older were the main audience for Julie & Julia.

G.I. Joe follows Paramount’s Transformers franchise as the latest toy story to find success on the big screen.

Harsh reviews for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen earlier this summer prompted Paramount to skip critic screenings for G.I. Joe and put the movie in theatres sight-unseen by most reviewers.

Critics generally trashed the Transformers sequel, yet it had a colossal opening and is on its way to joining the handful of movies to top $400 million domestically. Based on that disparity between critical and commercial reaction, the studio decided it could do without reviews for G.I. Joe.

“The thing we saw from Transformers is that with these kind of movies, at times critics have a hard time getting their arms around them,” said Rob Moore, Paramount vice chairman. “But the audience got exactly what it was. A fun summer movie, a great way to end your summer. You just relax and have a good time. You don’t have to worry about global politics or global warming.”

Critics who went to see G.I. Joe after it opened gave it mixed reviews at best, with many branding it mindless action but some finding it fun and entertaining.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Universal’s slasher thriller A Perfect Getaway with Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich, opened weakly at No. 7 with $5.8 million.

The previous weekend’s top movie, Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen’s Funny People, tumbled to No. 5 with $7.9 million, down a whopping 65 per cent from its opening weekend. The Universal release has taken in $40.4 million so far.

G.I. Joe pulled Hollywood out of a monthlong box-office swoon compared with last summer.

The overall box office came in at $147 million, up 22 per cent from the same weekend a year ago, when the Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight still was the No. 1 flick after four weeks in release.

“Joe kind of saved the day,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. “We needed a box-office hero to turn things around, and we certainly got it.”

But summer revenues continue to lag behind last year’s, with receipts this season down about 1 per cent.

G.I. Joe features Dennis Quaid, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a globe-trotting adventure about an elite military unit taking on a corrupt arms dealer.

Just Posted

Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

Schizophrenia a misunderstood illness, an Alberta expert says

Schizophrenia Society of Alberta campaign kickoff features TSN’s Michael Landsberg in Central Alberta

WATCH: Collecting coats and donations from drivers in Red Deer

Central Albertans made donations to keep children warm and neighbourhoods safe from… Continue reading

PHOTO: Fall Harvest Festival in Red Deer’s West Park

The West Park Community Association hosted the Fall Harvest Festival near West… Continue reading

Man dies in Hwy 2 collision near Ponoka

A 46-year-old man is dead following a three-vehicle collision on Hwy 2… Continue reading

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

Most Read