March 29, 2013



Thursday openings are hard to gauge, because there aren’t very many of them, and most of them are designed to extend long holiday weekends.  Here’s what we do know about the $10.5M opening day for GI JOE: RETALIATION (Paramount/MGM).  That number includes $2.2M for Wednesday night and Thursday midnight screenings, and without those, it’s not even in the top dozen Thursday starts.  Even the full number is less than half the $22.2M that GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra made on its opening day (a Friday) in August 2009.  And Thursday openers tend to go down, not up, on their second day of release (the only exceptions in the top dozen are Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Terminator: Salvation, both of them Memorial Day weekend openers).

In terms of a comparison with Rise of Cobra, Retaliation has the advantage of 3D premium ticket prices.  However, as will no doubt be heard in Paramount spin all weekend, Retaliation cost about $50M less than Cobra, making a weaker opening less dire.  Retaliation will also be opening in about 75% of overseas territories this weekend, and as usual with the action genre these days, the international results will be even more important than the response in the US.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."