G.I. Joe Poised to Invade Theaters

Yo, Joe! The classic military toy, cartoon and comic book property G.I. Joe arrives at last as in a visual-effects-loaded big screen this weekend, looking to pump up the late-summer box office.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, a Paramount release, features work from 10 visual-effects houses, including Digital Domain, CIS Hollywood, The Moving Picture Co., CIS Vancouver and Stan Winston Studio. It is rated PG-13 and set to open in about 3,500 theaters this weekend. The movie has encountered some controversy, as the studio refused to screen it for critics in advance of its release.

Its competition from newcomers is strictly in the counter-programming area, from director Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia. The Sony-Columbia release opens in 2,975 theaters and stars Amy Adams and Meryl Streep as famed chef Julia Child.

Also new this weekend is the thriller A Perfect Getaway, which Universal is set to open in 2,159 cinemas. The R-rated film stars Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn and Timothy Olyphant.

Holdovers include the animated guinea pigs of G-Force, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Fox animation-live-action hybrid Aliens in the Attic, and the 3-D animated feature Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.