North American box office: ‘G.I. Joe’ no!

Joe’s ohs are lots of zeroes at the end of its weekend tally:

1. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: $54.7 million (NEW)
2. Julie & Julia: $20 million (NEW)
3. G-Force: $9.9 million (3rd week; drops 44%)
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $8.9 million (4th week; drops 50%)
5. Funny People: $8 million (2nd week; drops 65%)

actual numbers, not estimates
Last week I predicted a 70-percent drop for Funny People in its second week, and I wasn’t far off. This really depresses me: I rail against performers like Adam Sandler going for the stupid all the time, but that’s obviously what audiences want. They’re not even willing to give someone they clearly love, like Sandler, the time of day if he deviates even slightly from what they expect. I mean, I get the whole “Life is shit and I just wanna escape, gimme sumthin stupid to laugh at” thing. But is that all mainstream audiences want? Is it impossible for even Adam Sandler, poster boy for idiocy, to satisfy audiences with a movie that isn’t entirely subimbecilic?

I guess it isn’t.

I’ll be watching to see what happens with G.I. Joe next week. The weekend estimate released on Sunday for the full weekend — which would have included actual box-office results for Friday and Saturday plus an estimate for Sunday — was off once the actual Sunday numbers were in. Paramount guessed G.I. Joe would have a weekend of $56.2 million, but that was off by $1.5 million… which means that word-of-mouth was bad, and that Sunday attendance was not as good as one might have estimated from the Friday-Saturday actuals, if the geekboys who’d ponied up on Friday-Saturday (plus Thursday midnight screenings) had told all their friends they really liked the movie. It’s what happens when attendees early in the weekend tell their pals, “Eh, you can skip it.”

I hope we see a big drop in Joe next weekend, because it will mean that even fanboys can resist being pandered to. I’m not actually expecting a drop of more than 50 percent, though.

It’s nice to see that Julie & Julia earned back half its budget in its first weekend domestically. Joe earned back only one-third of its production costs. Then again, there won’t be any J&J toys to rake in dough. Doh!

Then again, even though A Perfect Getaway debuted way down at No. 7, its cheapness to make — $14 million — means it did way better, relatively speaking, than Joe did: it took in a smidge under $6 million, 43 percent of its production budget.

Joe did have the best per-screen average, though, by far: $13,654 at 4,007 locations. Among wide released, J&J was a distant second, at $8,508 at 2,354 venues. That’s depressing, too.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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Wed, Aug 12, 2009 12:57am

Don’t count on it with regard to J&J toys. ;-) Costco tonight had three big stacks of J&J books. One stack, My Life in France. One stack, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. One stack, the Julie and Julia book.

And happy birthday. Welcome to the 4-0 club (I beat you here by four months). Many happy returns. :-)

Wed, Aug 12, 2009 2:46am

As a fanboy I can tell you that the Joe movie was almost utter crap (Selina Miller as baroness was one of the few redeeming qualities, even though her character was handed such a terribly contrived turn of events by the end of film, she did great with it).

Still I haven yet to hear anything good about the film in any cirles I walk, and after seeing it I can see why. even as a lifelong GI joe and Star Wars geek I was watching it saying “What the Crap is this?”

I personally se a huge drop off for this film, word of mouth is horrid. I had very low expectations walking into it and it still disapointed me, that’s bad.

Wed, Aug 12, 2009 9:56am

Well, Sienna Miller is great (read: hot) but if G.I. Joe is any indication she can’t act for shit… luckily we have other examples of her work to prove that particular conclusion wrong. She is pretty limp in this, though.

But anyway, it’s about time for the magic of summer to wear off… If GI Joe had come out in May it would’ve made a billion dollars, but I think we can safely assume a max of $150m domestic over the next few months. After a fun (but awful) Transformers movie and a just generally awful Harry Potter sequel, hopefully audiences have had enough.

It’s just too much birthday.

joe jones
Wed, Aug 12, 2009 4:25pm

GI Joe is always going to be a hit…all kids loved it and so will adults.