You have to admire the determination on Hasbro’s part to try and turn the G.I. Joe brand into a sustained, successful and money-spinning franchise, despite the fact that the first two attempts were greeted more than a little tepidly from both a critical and commercial perspective.
Stephen Sommers’ The Rise of Cobra remains a guilty pleasure for a lot of folks just because of how inherently cheesy and ridiculous it is, even if it probably wasn’t the filmmaker or the studio’s intention to remake Team America in live-action without a hint of the irony or self-awareness. It wasn’t a flop, but it didn’t turn much of a profit, either, after just about inching past $300 million at the box office on a $175 million budget.
Luckily, the sequel was smart enough to recruit Franchise Viagra Dwayne Johnson to head up the cast, and it wasn’t a surprise when Retaliation went on to make more money than its predecessor, and handily came armed with lower production costs, too. Jon M. Chu’s actioner is exploding in popularity on Netflix as well, rising over 20 places up the most-watched list, which might have had something to do with the fact that it was The Rock’s birthday yesterday and subscribers wanted to honor him by dipping into his back catalogue.
A direct continuation of Retaliation hasn’t materialized over the last eight years, but G.I. Joe is still hanging on in there. Prequel spinoff Snake Eyes is finally coming to theaters this summer having been delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic, while an episodic TV series is in the works from Paramount Television Studios and Amazon, so while there’s no danger of the property being allowed to fade away just yet, the future definitely hinges on those two projects.