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G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens with solid $51.7 million

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation opened with a relatively solid $51.7 million over the four-day frame, for a $41.2 million Fri-Sun gross. Any way you slice it, this is a slightly lower figure than the $54 million Fri-Sun debut of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra back in August 2009. Yes that film opened in late summer but this film had 3D-enhanced ticket prices, so it’s basically an even comparison.

The sequel/reboot was scheduled to open in late June of last summer only to be pulled and rescheduled so that the film could be converted to 3D in order to theoretically boost foreign grosses. One can only wonder whether Paramount possibly cut off its nose to spite its face, sacrificing a prime summer slot when the buzz was hottest only to achieve an arguably lower debut than it might have achieved had it opened when intended. G.I. Joe: Retaliation probably won’t cross $120 million in America, which in normal circumstances would be very bad.

More likely, Paramount knowingly sacrificed domestic strength for international muscle, which is yet another sign of the times. The current worldwide total is estimated to be about $132 million, so it’s nearly halfway to the first film’s entire $300 million worldwide total. Assuming it has anything resembling legs, Paramount’s risky bet may have paid off.

The new film cost less ($130 million) and the first film ($175 million), so presuming the rescheduling didn’t massively add to the marketing and distribution costs, equaling or surpassing the first film’s total ($150 million domestic and $150 million international) still counts as a single if not a double depending on the overall result.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

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