"G.I. Joe" sequel blasts past cavemen to win box office

Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:06pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Patricia Reaney

(Reuters) - Action movie "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" won the weekend box office battle in the United States and Canada, fighting off competition from cartoon cavemen, a Tyler Perry drama, and an alien-possessed heroine trying to save the human race.

"G.I. Joe," a sequel starring Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis, secured $41.2 million in domestic ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.

Last week's winner, animated prehistoric adventure "The Croods," slipped to second place with $26.5 million in North America (the United States and Canada). "Tyler Perry's Temptation" landed in the No. 3 slot with $22.3 million.

"G.I. Joe" opened Wednesday evening to get a jump on the Easter holiday weekend. The cumulative box office after Sunday is estimated at $51.7 million. In international markets, the movie racked up $80.3 million, for a global haul of $132 million.

"The result is as spectacular as the look of the movie," said Don Harris, president of domestic theatrical distribution at Paramount Pictures.

"We couldn't be happier with the result in terms of both the domestic and international box office and the response from movie goers."

Inspired by a Hasbro toy, "G.I. Joe" tells the story of elite soldiers fighting the enemy organization called Cobra as well as threats from within the federal government. The sequel to 2009's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" was slated to open last summer, but the release was delayed to convert the film to 3D.

Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures, MGM and Skydance Productions produced the sequel for about $130 million. Ahead of the weekend, forecasters predicted a domestic tally around $38 million for "G.I. Joe."   Continued...

Cast member Adrianne Palicki poses at the premiere of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" in Hollywood, California March 28, 2013. The movie opens in the U.S. on March 28. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni