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'G.I. Joe' wins box office battle with $56.2 million

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rise-of-cobra_lOne month after the record-breaking opening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the team of Paramount and game-maker Hasbro proved again that toys are serious business at the box office. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra overcame bad buzz and scathing reviews to win the weekend with $56.2 million, among the best August openings in history for a non-sequel. The win also adds box office clout to the careers of stars Channing Tatum (Fighting) and Sienna Miller (Stardust), who both scored career bests.

Second place went to Sony’s foodie film Julie and Julia, which earned an appetizing $20.1 million bow from the combined appeal of star Meryl Streep and her character, super-chef Julia Child. A 16 percent bump from Friday to Saturday suggests strong support from adult audiences, who generally don’t rush to theaters on Friday night, as well as good word of mouth, which could help push the film to hit status as the summer draws to a close.

The week’s other new wide release, A Perfect Getaway, looks set to make a quick escape from theaters after a disappointing seventh-place debut with $5.8 million.

Among the weekend’s holdovers, Disney’s guinea pig pic G-Force (No. 3, $9.8 million) scurried up to $86.1 million in its third week, while Judd Apatow’s dramedy Funny People (No. 5, $7.9 million) took a steep 65 percent second-week plunge.

Be sure to check back next week to see if G.I. Joe can hold off the invasion of District 9

More box office news from EW:

‘G.I. Joe’ leads Friday box office with $22.3 million

Box office preview: Is ‘G.I. Joe’ Hasbro’s next blockbuster?

Box Office Report: ‘Funny People’ laughs to No. 1 with $23.4 mil

‘Funny People’ takes Friday box office with $8.6 million