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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Pavlovian Nostalgia Fodder

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | August 10, 2009 |

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | August 10, 2009 |

Pesky critics, who needs ‘em? Paramount doesn’t seem to, having cleared their opening weekend for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra with some $56.2 million and an out-of-sight, out-of-mind screening strategy that prevented the same critical lashing that clearly kept crowds away from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen earlier this summer. Meanwhile, Sony whipped up a respectable $20 million for their Julie & Julia, which managed to draw away all those women who weren’t somehow drawn in by the prospect of Rachel Nichols in boob armor. What a pity that the gleefully moronic carnage that took place in Paris in the former film didn’t happen to infiltrate the latter; just imagine the sight of Marlon Wayans dashing past a cooking school, screaming about how “our goose is cooked!,” while Meryl Streep let out a high-pitched coo of delight.

Or maybe that’s just me. (I’m Will, by the way. Hi.)

G-Force slipped to third place, scrambling to make it past a mere $86 million in the past three weeks at the box office, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Artist Formally Known as Prince slipped to fourth, looking to fall just shy of three hundred million bucks domestic. Yeah, yeah, flow my tears. Funny People took the most significant stumble, falling 65 percent to fifth place and yet still besting the Heigl-wielding likes of The Ugly Truth by less than a mil. You heard it here, folks: a terminally ill Adam Sandler beats an uncontrollably orgasmic Rainbow Killer any day.

Opening at seventh (ouch) is David Twohy’s equally sly and frustrating thriller, A Perfect Getaway, with $5.7 million. To compare, the now-ninth-place Orphan opened to double that two weeks ago (note to Twohy: proportional dwarves > Steve Zahn). Stuck in between at number 8 would be Aliens in the Attic with $4 million (not shabby for an unscreened family film admittedly lacking in both dwarves and Zahn). And finally cracking the top ten after weeks of steady expansion is (500) Days of Summer, raking in $3.7 million for the weekend and $12.3 million to date. It’s due for Dustin’s predicted backlash any day now.

In indie news, Cold Souls opened on seven screens to the second highest per-screen average after G.I. Joe (with 4,000+ screens to its name), and Paper Heart took in a twee-tastic $200,000 on 38 screens and is due for wider expansion in the next two weeks, where it’ll theoretically clash with Summer for the hearts, minds and wallets of self-labeled alternative blogger kids all across the Midwest. Why, it’s enough to make Meryl Streep coo.

We’ll have our reviews of Paper Heart, Cold Souls and A Perfect Getaway up tomorrow.

William Goss lives in Orlando, Florida. But don’t hold that against him.