"Decent," at least, is the watchword for G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, whose $56 million opening is roughly half of Transformers 2's first weekend gross. I fear that the movie may follow in the footsteps of Watchmen, which opened to $55 million and ended up with not even twice that much when it left domestic theaters. I do think Paramount deserves credit for actually opening a film that the media, for somewhat mysterious reasons, did its best to bury with manufactured bad buzz. It's really not a bad number, and foreign box office should be strong with this one. A year ago I would have expected G.I. Joe to be more of a summer standout.

The $20 million on Julie & Julia seems a little low to me. I expected at least Devil Wears Prada numbers, but I guess this one skewed a little older. Hopefully that will also translate to legs for the well-reviewed film, though Mamma Mia!-style longevity seems unlikely. The clever A Perfect Getaway did mediocre business, as expected, grossing just under $6 million with no real marketing hook. I'll pick this one as my obligatory plug of the week: fans of thoughtful, off-kilter genre films should give it a shot.
"Off-kilter" didn't work out very well for Funny People, which evidently did not generate anywhere near the sort of goodwill that previous Judd Apatow films enjoyed. It dropped 65% in its second weekend, and will struggle to reach $60 million. I trust that Apatow has built up enough clout that middling numbers for Funny People won't stop him from making slightly odd, personal films going forward. This result shouldn't be too surprising to anyone who's seen the movie.

The full top 10 after the jump.

1 - G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Paramount) - $56.20 ($14,025) - $56.20
2 - Julie & Julia (Sony) - $20.10 ($8,539) - $20.10
3 - G-Force (Disney) - $9.80 ($2,186) - $86.12
4 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Warner Bros.) - $8.88 ($2,570) - $273.80
5 - Funny People (Universal) - $7.87 ($2,615) - $40.42
6 - The Ugly Truth (Sony) - $7.00 ($2,353) - $69.09
7 - A Perfect Getaway (Universal) - $5.77 ($2,670) - $5.77
8 - Aliens in the Attic (Fox) - $4.00 ($1,287) - $16.29
9 - Orphan (Warner Bros.) - $3.73 ($1,643) - $34.82
10 - (500) Days of Summer (Fox Searchlight) - 3.73 ($4,559) - $12.34

Next week: District 9, The Time Traveler's Wife, and some undermarketed contenders: Bandslam, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard and Miyazaki's Ponyo.