It's been more than a decade since the last time a G.I. Joe movie was on the big screen, but now a fan-favorite character, Snake Eyes, is getting his own origin story movie starring the world's prettiest man: Henry Golding. The film is going with the somewhat still unique plan of releasing only in theaters rather than doing straight to streaming platforms, or doing some sort of hybrid release. One would expect the movie will have a stronger box office that way, but in Thursday night previews the film only brought in $1.4 million, which wasn't quite enough to beat out M. Night Shyamalan's Old.
According to Deadline, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins brought in $1.4 million in box office last night while Old did $1.5 million. Although Old was screened in slightly more theaters nationwide. The two movies are essentially neck and neck and are expected to remain that way throughout opening weekend-- as both are trending toward totals in the mid-teens. Which one will ultimately win out is anybody's guess right now.
But in the end, it seems likely that Old will be more successful regardless of the final box office total. M. Night Shyamalan traditionally makes inexpensive films and whatever it ultimately cost to make Old was almost certainly a lot less than it cost to make Snake Eyes. So Old can make a lot less money and still be considered a success while Snake Eyes will have a much higher bar it needs to clear.
Presumably Snake Eyes won't be breaking any box office records. The movie's take isn't anywhere close to the blockbuster level that we've seen from Black Widow or F9. However, it is better than what other smaller theatrical-only films have seen recently. Snake Eyes outperformed the recent Escape Room sequel as well as The Forever Purge. Snake Eyes didn't exactly wow most critics, though it has done better than the two previous G.I. Joe movies in that regard.
It will be interesting to see how Snake Eyes ultimately does in theaters. The movie certainly leaves itself open for direct sequels and well as potentially more G.I. Joe movies in the future. But that will require financial success, and it's somewhat hard to even figure out what that means anymore. Wherever this movie ends up, it obviously would have done better had it come out when the global pandemic wasn't still very much a real factor.
The fans of G.I. Joe and Snake Eyes will certainly turn out in theaters to see the ninja hero take the screen. And they'll almost certainly enjoy it. While the reviews may be generally poor, most of them didn't find the movie to be entirely without value. Perhaps, if a sequel is in the cards, it could turn out to be the G.I. Joe movie that everybody wants to see.