Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $56,200,000 $14,025 $56,200,000
2 Julie & Julia $20,100,000 $8,539 $20,100,000
3 G-Force $9,804,000 (-44.0%) $2,816 $86,116,000
4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $8,880,000 (-50.4%) $2,570 $273,800,000
5 Funny People $7,866,000 (-65.3%) $2,615 $40,417,000
6 The Ugly Truth $7,000,000 (-46.9%) $2,353 $69,088,000
7 A Perfect Getaway $5,765,000 $2,670 $5,765,000
8 Aliens in the Attic $4,000,000 (-50.1%) $1,287 $16,293,000
9 Orphan $3,730,000 (-50.4%) $1,643 $34,822,000
10 (500) Days of Summer $3,725,000 (+34.1%) $4,559 $12,343,000

This just in: opposable thumbs.

Critics play a lot of inside baseball, especially in the on-line world where favoritism can get you called a sell-out by your peers and being shunned can hurt your traffic. It could be worse, though, you could be Alex Billington. That some critics saw G.I. Joe early sent some others into a tizzy. Others prepared for backlash, and then a backlash-backlash. This is mostly because advanced word was bad, and though some of the rumors of how disastrous the production was going may have been planted, it was more than just one person who was suggesting the Joe might be the bomb of the summer. But Paramount did as they always do; they cut some good trailers and TV spots, and – in this case – prayed for and preyed on nostalgia.

It turns out that none of the critics chattering mattered, and the film opened. The question is how well it will play. The Mummy 3 opened to about $40 last year and limped to $100, this should get to around $150, unless super-bad word of mouth kicks in. Since General Infantry Joe is now a global thing for the movie, it may not do too terribly overseas. Perhaps it was all a campaign to manage and lower expectations. Regardless, it’s a solid opening for a picture like that with that date, but it’s not a monster. It should play into September, but it feels like a film that got over and got by without being a film that anyone is proud of. Such is strike season, this may not help Stephen Sommers too much, though he’s out of director jail, it seems.

Also a half and halfer of an opening is Julie and Julia, a film that I would never watch intentionally. Having seen much of Nora Ephron’s filmography, and having witnessed her defile Ernst Lubitsch, I can argue that it’s not that she makes films for women, it’s that she makes bad movies. Bewitched seem to put her in director jail, but that’s the great thing about a writers strike. $20 is not a bad opening if the film keeps playing. Mamma Mia did, and got to $144 domestic, though it opened a little bit stronger than this, with a $27 Million dollar start. But Meryl Streep has an audience, so don’t doubt this film as a sleeper that gets to $100. Or if it’s a picture that gets to $40. I found the trailer sickening, and would only really be down for this movie if Ephron was intentionally suggesting that Julie was a cuntish loser (I have a British side of the family, so I’m allowed to use that word. Loser, that is).

G-Force should have no problem getting over $100 million dollars. Jerry Bruckheimer sure knows how to make magics. Harry Potter has no legs, but that’s not a big deal considering how much money it’s made and how much the next one will. With the flood of product, it’s possible that it won’t get to $300 domestic. Depends. The Ugly Truth has at least another ten million in it, so it should get to around $85 Million. Solid.

Funny People topped the box office last week, and it dropped over 60% this week. Still the #5 film in America, but I don’t think the film is going to stage a comeback. People will waiting for Judd Apatow to take a hit, and this looks like that misfire. The gods decree it. A Perfect Getaway was supercheap, so it may yet turn a profit, but it didn’t open to much. Since the reveal is supposedly rather obvious, I don’t think it’s going to get a boost, and may yet do less than Aliens in the Attic, which looks like the worst film ever made. Orphan may yet get to $40, but it’ll be a limp. And (500) Days of Summer is proving to do well in the indie scheme of things. Perhaps it’s the Garden State of this year.

This is also the first week some of the biggest summer titles have dropped out of the top ten. The Hangover (which may yet come back in the top ten) crossed $260, and Transformers 2 did $3 Million, getting to nearly $394 domestic. And if you think that’s no getting to $400, then note that Star Trek and Night at the Museum 2 are still playing, and doing about a half a million for the weekend.