G.I.-Joe-Retaliation-PosterAfter a nine-month delay, G.I. Joe: Retaliation finally landed in theatres around the world over the weekend, and it did so to the tune of over $130m. globally. And as the box office numbers have been coming in over the weekend, Paramount have officially given the green light to G.I. Joe 3, an as-yet-untitled sequel.

Retaliation brought home the second-highest Easter opening of all time in the US, taking an estimated $41.2m. from Friday to Sunday, adding an additional $10.5m. across Wednesday and Thursday, to put its cumulative at $51.7m.

It has also had the highest international debut of the year so far, surpassing Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful, to take an estimated $80.3m., giving it a global total in the $132m. range.

And given that it still has to open in roughly a quarter of its international markets, including China and Japan in April and June, respectively, it’s looking likely that the film will be taking north of $400m. in its theatrical release.

And thus we come to the announcement the sequel has officially been given the go-ahead. Variety report that its $132m. bow was (naturally) a strong factor in the studio’s decision to move forward with G.I. Joe 3.

Paramount announced very close to its original June release date last year that Retaliation would be moved back to March 2013 to complete some re-shoots, and, more importantly, to convert it into 3D.

Given the success of the film over the weekend, you can bet that G.I. Joe 3 is going to be in 3D. And with Dwayne Johnson helping to work a little magic as the all-out action man, smart money says that Roadblock is going to be back for more in the sequel.

It’s still early days yet, so no word on when we might be able to expect a sequel to hit theatres. But Paramount will likely want to capitalise on Retaliation’s success fairly quickly. The first film in the franchise, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, hit back in 2009, and Retaliation has followed four years later. With the latter’s success expected to rise to $400m.+, it’s not unrealistic to imagine that G.I. Joe 3 will be coming sooner rather than later.

2015 is already quite busy on the blockbuster schedule, with the likes of The Avengers 2, the Fantastic Four reboot, Ant-Man, the final instalment of The Hunger Games, and many, many more coming out that year. But one studio yet to confirm any films for the year is Paramount, and I have a feeling that G.I. Joe 3 will be their big entry, quite possibly with a Jack Ryan and/or World War Z sequel on the cards as well.