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Weekend Box Office: G.I. Joe, Tyler Perry Score Big, The Host Fails

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By Chris Kavan - 03/31/13 at 11:34 PM CT

Easter weekend was a good weekend for the box office. Thanks to a pair of big openings, the weekend was in a virtual dead heat with the same weekend last year and maybe Hollywood can finally shake off the funk that has plagued it the first couple of months this year. It wasn't all smiles as it turns out you can force feed young adults only so much drama/romance before even they tire of the genre.

1) G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

Go Joe! It turns people haven't given up on action. After the better-than-expected opening for Olympus Has Fallen, the G.I. Joe sequel opened to a impressive $41.2 million and, factoring in early showings, has already broken the $50 million mark with a $51.7 million total so far. The Easter debut is second behind only Clash of the Titans ($61.2 million) and it's total opening is just behind G.I. Joe Rise of the Cobra (which hit $54.7 million in its opening weekend). Surprisingly, that opening represents the best opening for a Bruce Willis film - and is second-best for Dwayne Johnson. It turns out pushing the movie back from summer 2012 to March 2013 was a shrewd move. Last year was huge for epic summer movies - G.I. Joe would have been buried. March is the new summer, and Retaliation took advantage of that. I expect it could easily wind up near the $150 million total the original Joe brought in.

2) THE CROODS

The animated Dreamworks caveman film dropped 39.3% and took in $26.5 million to raise its total to $88.6 million. The drop is slightly larger than How to Train Your Dragon (which dropped just 34%). Still, Croods should have no problem topping Rise of the Guardian (currently sitting at $103.3 million), probably by next week. It won't be too long before it hits its $135 million budget, either. Although it's not providing Pixar-level returns, the numbers are still encouraging.

3) TYLER PERRY'S TEMPTATION

Tyler Perry continued to justify his existence as a filmmaker as Temptation opened with a very strong $22.3 million. That is the best opening for Perry that doesn't involve Madea or a sequel - which might not sound like much but considering how poorly recent Perry dramas have fared, this has to be seen as an encouraging sign that Perry's target audience, in this case female (70%) and older (79% 25 or older) are still happy supporting the director. With an A- score, it could to out over $50 million. Perry also joins a very specific club - sadly - this is his ninth movie to open with $20+ million - only Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis can say the same thing. Considering how many Perry films we seem to get each year - he'll probably pass them before long - and it pains me to write that.

4) OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

Thanks to direct competition from G.I. Joe, Olympus took a hefty 53.9% over its opening weekend. Still, the $14 million it took it helped it fly passed the $50 million mark as well and it now stands at $54.7 million and it should be well on its way to hitting its $70 million budget, though it is unlikely it will be able to top the $100 million mark.

5) OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

The flashy fantasy is flirting with $200 million - the $11.6 million raised its total to $198.2 million. Down 46.2% - it will still have no trouble becoming the first film of 2013 to hit that milestone and it should also have little trouble reaching its $215 million budget before it finally ends its run.

Outside the top five: It turns out not even Stephanie Meyers is infallible as The Host become the latest film targeted at young adults to seriously under perform at the box office. With just $11 million in the bank, it joins Beautiful Creatures ($11.5 million after its five-day opening) this year as a major YA disappointment. Although it did draw in a younger audience (61% under 25) they gave it an unenthusiastic B- - meaning this movie is likely to fall out of the top 10 quickly.

Opening in limited release, the Ryan Gosling/Bradley Cooper crime drama A Place Beyond the Pines has took in $270,000 in four theaters for a strong $67,500 average. It will creep into a few more theaters in the coming weeks.

Next week there will be only two new movies in wide release - the updated Evil Dead remake and the re-release of Jurassic Park in 3D. Considering the sorry state of the 3D re-releases, that's probably going to be a non-factor and horror films generally have a limited audience, so I expect at least the top three films to look much the same.

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