"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" will likely conquer its box-office competition this weekend, aided by new recruits like the Rock and Bruce Willis. Channing Tatum hands over the franchise reins in the sequel, which should debut at #1 with at least $40 million.
The movie opened in some theaters Wednesday and should collect a nice bounty through Easter Weekend, though it's not likely to touch the $54 million of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," according to industry analysts. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson takes center stage as Roadblock, whom fans remember from the action figures, comic book and cartoons of the 1980s. Willis plays the retired original Joe as the team battles once again with Cobra Commander's forces.
"Retaliation" is unlikely to match the success of Paramount's other Hasbro toy-spawned franchise, according to Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock. While "Transformers grossed over $700 million worldwide, "The Rise of the Cobra" made $300 million.
"While U.S. audiences likely won't be swayed by the cheap thrill of retrofitted 3-D, international troops might enlist in record number, and that's exactly where Paramount hopes to set up base camp," Bock said. "If 'G.I. Joe' is going to expand into a trilogy, 'Retaliation' has to see promising growth overseas. Yes jingoists, the fate of America's finest heroes rests in the hands of foreigners. And knowing that... is half the battle."
Last weekend's #1 film, the kid-friendly DreamWorks Animation flick "The Croods," should continue to do great business for weeks to come, according to MovieFanatic.com's Joel Amos, among others. It will compete this weekend for the #2 spot against Tyler Perry's "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor," the filmmaker's latest Madea-free dramatic flick, which also happens to boast Kim Kardashian playing someone other than herself.
"Tyler Perry's box-office mojo has slipped a bit of late," said Amos, noting the poor performance of "Alex Cross," which starred Perry under another filmmaker's direction. Amos predicted "Temptation" to make around $20 million. Bock noted that Perry's films are "fiscally efficient," so "Temptation" should prove quite profitable regardless.
"The Host," another adaptation of "Twilight" novelist Stephenie Meyer, is likely to debut in fourth place with about $16 million. Opening in New York and Los Angeles with expansion to follow, "The Place Beyond the Pines" is the latest from "Blue Valentine" director Derek Cianfrance, which sees him teaming back up with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. Bock noted, "From multiplexes to arthouses, everyone loves them some Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling."
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