Critically blasted G.I. Joe storms box office with $56.2M

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra stormed the Aug. 7 weekend box office, selling an estimated $56.2 million worth of tickets in its first three days to take the top slot, the Reuters news service reported.

The film's distributor, Paramount Pictures, opted not to screen the movie in advance for newspaper and magazine critics, leading them to lambaste the film unseen. The studio did screen it for a few select online critics, including SCI FI Wire, most of whom liked it. And, no, there was no quid pro quo agreement that they write positive reviews before they saw it.

Once the newspapers and magazines saw the movie, they predictably blasted it, giving the movie a 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The record for an August opening in the United States and Canada was set in 2007 by The Bourne Ultimatum, with $69.3 million, Reuters reported. Rush Hour 2 kicked off with $67.4 million in 2001, and "Signs" with $60 million in 2002. All ended up with more than $220 million.

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