GI Joe Friday Box Office Soars

Paramount’s decision to bypass “stuffy” film critics and show advance press screenings of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra to “fanboy” online outlets exclusively is, thus far, paying off with big box office returns.

Rise of Cobra scored an estimated $22.3 million on its opening Friday including Thursday night sneak preview screenings. That number is good enough for the highest non-sequel August opening of all time.

Saturday and Sunday performance during an opening weekend typically surpass Friday numbers (films like Bruno being the exception) which puts GI Joe on pace to surpass $60 million. It is officially on the hunt to chase down the two highest August weekend openings, The Bourne Ultimatum’s $69.3 million and Rush Hour 2’s $67.4 million.

Critics have begun to lay into GI Joe knocking its Rotten Tomatoes score down to 38%. There is clearly enough positive buzz coming out of theaters, especially from young males, to drive big ticket sales regardless of ratings similarly to how Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen performed.

If I were Walmart or Target I’d be sure to stock up tons of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra toys this weekend. Knowing a hit as arrived is half the battle.

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