The Second Coming of 'G.I. Joe' Tops Easter Box Office

gi-joe-retaliation-rIn the "G.I. Joe" universe, knowing is half the battle. And now we know what the other half is: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's well-oiled pecs.

Yes, after endless months of production delays and reshoots, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" finally debuted and it did so in a big way, earning an estimated $41.2 million over the holiday weekend to take the top spot at the box office. "G.I Joe: Retaliation" also added an additional $10.5 million from Wednesday night and Thursday showings, giving it a $51.7 million take to date, good for the second biggest Easter weekend debut behind only "Wrath of the Titans."

Of course, while the box office numbers for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" are solid, they still fall short of "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra's" $54.7 million debut back in 2009. But even a qualified success means "G.I. Joe" is faring way better than Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" follow-up "The Host," which bombed out with just $11 million in its debut for a sixth place finish. That's roughly the amount of money "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" made in its first eight seconds of release.

While all eyes were focused on "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "The Host," a third film debuted this weekend to surprisingly strong numbers. Or perhaps it should be no surprise at all that "Tyler Perry's Temptation" brought in $22.3 million for a third place finish. Say what you will about Perry and his films — and critics have had plenty to say recently — the guy consistently rakes in the dough.

In the midst of all this, returning films "The Croods," "Olympus Has Fallen" and "Oz the Great and Powerful" all continued strong. And with no obvious blockbusters on the horizon — the horror remake "Evil Dead" is next weekend's biggest new release, while the following weekend only has "Scary Movie 5" and "42" — all of this weekend's top performers could be in for a long stay on the charts.

Speaking of which, here's a look at the full box office top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:

1. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" - $41.2m

2. “The Croods” – $26.5m (our review)

3. "Tyler Perry's Temptation" - $22.3m (our review)

4. “Olympus Has Fallen” – $14m (our review)

5. “Oz the Great and Powerful” – $11.6m (our review)

6. "The Host" - $11m (our review)

7. “The Call” – $4.8m (our review)

8. “Admission” – $3.2m (our review)

9. “Spring Breakers” – $2.7m (our review)

10. “Burt Wonderstone” – $1.3m (our review)