30 March 2013 12:23 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Last weekend's two $30-million openers have been followed by a strong Easter weekend that looks to top last year's. Led by Paramount's delayed release of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (with 3-D added and a beefed-up role for Channing Tatum), Friday's top ten films grossed an estimated $54 million, up from the $46 million total from both a year ago and from that of 2012's one-week-later Good Friday. The figure was also up from last week's $38 million, making this the rare Friday this year with across the board improvements. Also impressive was the opening day for "The Place Beyond the Pines" (Focus), boosted by stars Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling, which grossed around $95,000 in four theaters, equaling in gross and falling just a little short of the initial strong opening for "Spring Breakers" two weeks ago. This is the biggest opening for a Focus limited release since "Moonrise Kingdom" last May (which did $172,000 in »

- Tom Brueggemann

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