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Entertainment behind the scenes

“G.I. Joe” proves movie critics don’t matter — sometimes

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bofaThere is an old saying in Hollywood when talking to producers or directors of big-budget movies that often claim the box office crown but rarely win critical acclaim or awards. That saying goes something like this: “I’d rather win the Bank of America award,” meaning money is more important in showbiz than little golden statues.

This past weekend’s debut of action-packed, special effects-filled flick “G.I. Joe” won the Bank of America award. After being pummeled by critics who were unable to watch the film in advance, the movie claimed the No. 1 spot at U.S. box offices this past weekend with $56.2 million. Add on another $44.1 million internationally, and in its first weekend, the flashy movie raked in $100.3 million worldwide.

Why? One reason is the film’s target audience is mostly young men and women who are the core market for films. They don’t read reviews, for the most part, but are influenced heavily by advertising and pre-show promotional hype. The marketing budget for “Joe” was huge and fans turned out in droves for “G.I. Joe.”

boyleCompare that to the No. 2 movie, “Julie & Julia,” which stars Meryl Streep as chef Julia Child in a light comedy aimed mostly at adults. It earned a respectable $20.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, based on early buzz AND good reviews. To adults critics still matter, and adults are likely to turn out for “Julie & Julia” in coming weeks, whereas “G.I. Joe” faces huge competition this coming weekend from another special-effects flick, “District 9.”

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