Here are your three-day box office returns (new releases bolded):
1. G.I. Joe: Retaliation - $41.2 million
2. The Croods - $26.5 million
3. Tyler Perry's Temptation - $22.3 million
4. Olympus Has Fallen - $14.0 million
5. Oz the Great and Powerful - $11.6 million
6. The Host - $11.0 million
7. The Call - $4.8 million
8. Admission - $3.2 million
9. Spring Breakers - $2.7 million
10 . The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - $1.3 million
The Big Stories
On the eve of North Korea looking to blow us up, the North American box office gave over $30 million to a film where their best efforts were thwarted by mother green and her killing machine. They tried to take over the White House last week in Olympus Has Fallen. This week, no less than one of Cobra Commander's chief henchmen taunted the nation during disarmament talks. The results for G.I. Joe: Retaliation were $40 million over the Easter weekend, over $50 million since its late shows Wednesday night and over $120 million around the world. Take that Kim Jong-Un!
Go, Go Joes!
Considering the numbers for the original G.I. Joe film (not the 1987 cartoon, but The Rise of Cobra) it is somewhat a mystery how a sequel got green lit in the first place. Sure it opened to $54 million and its $150 million made it the 18th highest-grossing film of 2009. But it must have been in post-theatrical sales where Paramount went into the black since a $302 million worldwide gross against a $175 million budget does not translate into a healthy bottom line.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation, on the other hand, is being reported with a $130 million budget, which all in all isn't too bad considering the reshoots and 3D conversion that delayed the film just weeks out from last year's June release date. It may already be behind its predecessor in gross, but it does make the list as the second best Easter opening ever.
Clash of the Titans ($61.2 million), G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($41.2), Scary Movie 4 ($40.2), Hannah Montana: The Movie ($32.3), Panic Room ($30.0), Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? ($29.2), The Matrix ($27.7), Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family ($25.0), Tyler Perry's Temptation ($22.3)
Small victory perhaps considering only two of the films on that list (Clash and The Matrix) are the only ones to hit $100 million here in the States. Indecent Proposal is the only other film on the whole list to reach that mark opening over the holiday. Retaliation is halfway there. Even if it follows in Rise's path of a 59% drop that's another $16 million next week on top of at least $15 million during the week. It would be a bigger story if it didn't hit nine digits locally. The added star power of Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis should bulk up the overseas numbers a bit. Its $80+ million is the biggest international debut this year and is already halfway to the first film's overseas tally. That gives Retaliation a chance to be the immediate hit on the Paramount books that Rise of Cobra could not achieve.
The Last Temptation? Please!
In 1988, people protested The Last Temptation of Christ, a film about true spirituality from one of the greatest filmmakers ever: Martin Scorsese. All because it contained a little sex. Twenty-five years later, American audiences spent more money in one day on the latest film from one of the worst filmmakers ever, Tyler Perry, also containing the word Temptation and a little sex. And on Easter weekend. Now that is true blasphemy. We could make comparisons all day between the two and which one really has the more questionable morals and mixed messages for serious Christians. Kim Kardashian isn't exactly playing Mary Magdalene but you catch the drift. We wonder if she had to wash Perry's feet on the set every day. The devil himself isn't in this one, though most only seem to care when he has the dress on as you can see here:
Madea Goes to Jail ($41.0 million opening), Madea's Family Reunion ($30.0), Madea's Witness Protection ($25.3), Madea's Big Happy Family ($25.0), I Can Do Bad All by Myself ($23.4), Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($21.9), Meet the Browns ($20.0)
As opposed to Tyler being out of the dress or just out period:
Why Did I Get Married Too? ($29.2), Temptation ($22.3), Why Did I Get Married? ($21.3), For Colored Girls ($19.4), The Family That Preys ($17.3), Good Deeds ($15.5), Daddy's Little Girls ($11.2)
Second best opening of Tyler's directorial career without Madea. Time to go to confession, America.
"Another Must-see from Stephenie Meyer"
That's what quote-whore supreme Maria Salas said about her latest supernatural tween romance. And if you see her name on an ad and still go, you deserve to waste your money. Cause that is what The Host turned out to be. Worse than at least three of the Twilight pictures (it's 12% at Rotten Tomatoes is the third worst-reviewed wide release of 2013), Open Road Films still probably thought it had an easy cash cow on its hand. Instead, even a modest $40 million price tag is going to end up costing it if international sales are as weak as the $11 million domestic take, Open Road's second loser in a row after the disappointing returns on Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects. Tyler Perry's Temptation is going to earn more than that too by next weekend. Happy Easter everyone!
Erik Childress can be seen each Thursday morning on WCIU-TV's First Business breaking down the box office on the Movies & Money segment.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]