The Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak ended right on time to make room for the other big three at this week’s box-office, as Bruce Willis, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Channing Tatum bring the international day-and-date release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The film was shelved for nearly a year after the original June 2012 release date was pushed back amidst rumors of re-shoots and a 3D conversion. Whatever the reason, the big-budget action-figure/children-cartoon adaptation’s sequel will hit theaters around the world this weekend, likely overshadowing Oz: The Great and Powerful and The Croods, this month’s other international success stories. The Croods expands to 17 markets this weekend and shouldn’t compete directly with Joe.
The delay means that G.I. Joe won’t have to battle Spider-Man for box-office as it was slated to last year, but the alternative might be a bit more awkward. A Good Day to Die Hard has been holding up well since its international roll-out began in mid-February, posting a $152.4 million overseas gross. There is a chance that audiences might experience Bruce Willis fatigue, on the assumption that seeing a bald person shoot a machine gun for 90 minutes gets old without some sort of hiatus.
The star power of Channing Tatum and “The Rock” is another story altogether. The former WWE superstar has seen overseas success with his two previous films, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Fast Five, grossing a respective $222 million and $416 million overseas. Channing Tatum might be a harder sell.; while dedicating the bulk of the last two years to star in Steven Soderbergh movies has helped launch his career in the United States, those aren’t the type of films to adequately compare his drawing power with G.I Joe: Retaliation.
We can’t talk about the weekend without mentioning The Host, adapted from “Twilight” author Stephanie Meyer’s latest novel. The Twilight saga’s five films grossed over $3.34 billion worldwide. It will be interesting to see if The Host can benefit from the same box-office magic. Director Andrew Niccol’s previous science-fiction film, the Justin Timberlake vehicle In Time, under whelmed at the North American box-office but found new life overseas with a $136 million gross that buoyed its global tally to a $173 million cume. A cast of relative unknowns might be a liability, however, and the film will have to rely on its genre and Meyer’s Twilight connection to break through.
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