Easter weekend saw the release of the long-delayed action sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Paramount), directed by Jon Chu (Step Up 3D), and starring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, D.J. Cotrona, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Byung-hun Lee, Jonathan Pryce and Ray Stevenson. The movie was originally meant for release last June, but Paramount decided to delay the movie in order to convert it into 3D, which proved to be fruitful as it opened early on Wednesday night with 7PM screenings and grossed $10.5 million in its first full day on Thursday. It had a nice 47% bump on Good Friday to take in $15.5 million building to a three-day weekend gross of roughly $41.2 million for the weekend and $51.7 million in its first four days. That’s slightly less than the $54.7 million grossed opening weekend by the original movie G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra in early August 2009, but it was also opening in the more difficult and often front-loaded Easter weekend.
Internationally, the military movie that eschews American patriotism did even bigger business, grossing $80.3 million over the weekend, the biggest international opening of the year. IMAX reports that the movie grossed $4.8 million on the 303 domestic IMAX screens with another $2.3 million in the 78 international IMAX theaters.
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