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Box Office: 'G.I. Joe' Delivers Very Good Friday; 'Place Beyond the Pines' Has Excellent Limited Opening; 'The Host' Disappoints

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood March 30, 2013 at 3:23PM

Last weekend's two $30-million openers have been followed by a strong Easter weekend that looks to top last year's. Led by Paramount's delayed release of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (with 3-D added and a beefed-up role for Channing Tatum), Friday's top ten films grossed an estimated $54 million, up from the $46 million total from both a year ago and from that of 2012's one-week-later Good Friday. The figure was also up from last week's $38 million, making this the rare Friday this year with across the board improvements.
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Place Beyond the Pines, Cooper

Last weekend's two $30-million openers have been followed by a strong Easter weekend that looks to top last year's. Led by Paramount's delayed release of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (with 3-D added and a beefed-up role for Channing Tatum), Friday's top ten films grossed an estimated $54 million, up from the $46 million total from both a year ago and from that of 2012's one-week-later Good Friday. The figure was also up from last week's $38 million, making this the rare Friday this year with across the board improvements.

Also impressive was the opening day for "The Place Beyond the Pines" (Focus), boosted by stars Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling, which grossed around $95,000 in four theaters, equaling in gross and falling just a little short of the initial strong opening for "Spring Breakers" two weeks ago. This is the biggest opening for a Focus limited release since "Moonrise Kingdom" last May (which did $172,000 in four theaters its first day).

Dwayne Johnson in "G.I. Joe Retaliation"
Dwayne Johnson in "G.I. Joe Retaliation"

The "G.I. Joe" sequel was down slightly from the opening Friday for the 2009 original, at the height of summer. But "Retaliation" opened on Thursday to over $10 million. The rise on the second day signals the film's ongoing strong performance.

Good news for Dreamworks' "The Croods" (released by Twentieth Century Fox): buoyed by strong matinees, the film fell less than 10% from its opening day.

Meanwhile Tyler Perry's latest, "Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor" (Lionsgate) scored a decent $9.4 million, but that is well below several of his other recent opening days, including a better than $12 million for "Why Did I Get Married" on Good Friday 2009.

Open Road's "The Host," adapted from the novel by "Twilight"'s Stephenie Meyer, managed only $5.5 million despite the school holiday.

Among holdovers, Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful" held up best, falling less than 25% as it also gained from strong matinees.

Because of the holiday boost, Friday will be the best day of the weekend for many of the top ten films. But the weekend is off to a strong start, suggesting that the worst fears of a prolonged box office recession are abating.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Croods


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.