GI Joe takes charge at box office
Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum have marched into the number one position at the US box office with their movie GI Joe: Retaliation.
After a nine-month delay, the film - which brings the gun-toting military toys to life - earned 41.2 million dollars in first weekend takings, according to studio estimates.
Paramount postponed the sequel to 2009's GI Joe: Rise Of Cobra last May from its original June opening date to convert the film to 3D.
The last-minute change came just weeks after Battleship, another movie based on a Hasbro toy, sank at the box office. At that time, Paramount had already begun its advertising campaign for Retaliation.
"It certainly vindicates the decision," said Don Harris, the studio's head of distribution. "Any time you make those sorts of moves, people always assume the worst. The truth is I'd seen this movie a long time ago in 2D, and the movie worked in 2D. It's not trying to be Schindler's List. This movie is intended to be enjoyed as a big, action spectacle."
Internationally, Harris said Retaliation earned 80.3 million dollars, making it the biggest international opening of the year. The film opened in 53 markets outside of the US and Canada, including Russia, South Korea and Mexico.
After debuting in the top spot last weekend, the 3D animated prehistoric comedy The Croods from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox slipped to the number two spot with 26.5 million dolars in its second weekend, according to Hollywood.com.
The film features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Catherine Keener as a cave family on the hunt for a new home.
Among the other new films this weekend, Tyler Perry's Temptation, starring Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Lance Gross, opened above expectations at number three with 22.3 million dollars, while the science-fiction adaptation The Host, featuring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, and Jake Abel as characters from the Stephenie Meyer novel, landed at number six in its debut weekend with a modest 11 million dollars.