GI Joe: Retaliation outgunned its rivals in the battle to top the US Easter box office charts as the star-studded action film pulled in a striking $41.2 million in domestic ticket sales.
This ranks it as the second-highest Easter debut of all time behind 2010′s Clash of the Titans, which raked in an impressive $61.2million.
Making it even more noteworthy was it managed to attract such a massive audience despite the first film, which was also a massive commercial success, being a critical turkey.
The film offers big performances by its three main players, with their combined star power surely a reason for its success. It ranks third-highest opening for Channing Tatum, second-highest for The Rock, and is surprisingly Bruce Willis’ best ever debut.
They postponed the sequel last May from its original June opening date to convert the film to 3-D.
This was a last-minute decision made just weeks after Battleship, another movie based on a toy from the Hasbro stable, which was a box office disaster. It was a particularly bold move, for at the time, Paramount had already began its advertising campaign for Retaliation.
“It certainly vindicates the decision,” The studio’s head of distribution Don Harris said. “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 2-D, and the movie worked in 2-D,” Harris added.
Harris also said that GI Joe wasn’t trying to be “Schindler’s List” because the movie is intended to be enjoyed as a big, action spectacle.”