Thursday, May 24, 2012

No Joe! G.I. Joe: Retaliation Retreats To March

Well, this one's a head-scratcher. As you know, I've been consistently impressed with everything we've seen thus far from Paramount/Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, feeling that it appears to have addressed the many content and execution issues I had with its unfortunate predecessor in '09. The steady drumbeat of publicity since early this year had made it one of my most anticipated movies of the summer, and we were staring down the barrel of its premiere just over a month from now -- a few short weeks away. But that was then.

In a bizarre move the likes of which I've never seen before from a major studio this late in the game, Paramount has abruptly pulled the Joe sequel from its summer schedule and re-slotted it to debut next March -- a delay of exactly nine months. As Deadline first reported yesterday, the supposed reason from the studio for the delay is to put the film through the dreaded post-converted 3D process and maximize overseas revenue (where they apparently haven't started tiring of 3D the way we're starting to over here). The money quote comes from one of the execs: "We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally."

The emphasis there is on "conscientious." After all, we've already seen how the quickie conversions they used for Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender made those bad movies even worse, so maybe the studio should actually be applauded here for being willing to take the time to do it right. Personally, I'm apathetic on the format anyway, and given that the film wasn't shot in 3D and was never intended for 3D, this can't help but seem a bit mercenary to me (though, per the Rock, they're also going to be augmenting the film with new sequences that take advantage of the new dimension).

I've heard from people who've already seen the movie that have assured me that it's the Joe flick I've been waiting for, so I'm willing to go along with the studio's stated reason for the delay, though I also think some release date panic set when they realized how Retaliation was sandwiched between would-be blockbusters Prometheus and The Amazing Spider-Man, and risked getting lost in the shuffle. Still, given how much money they've already spent on promotions to get the word out about the June release, you'd think they'd have made this decision a bit sooner. Like, before dropping $3.5 mil on a Super Bowl ad for a movie that's not even going to come out until after the next Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, some fans are choosing to vent their frustrations at the delay in more...unorthodox ways:


RobRoy said...

First of all, that is some butt-ass terrible Photoshop work on Bruce Willis in that picture.

Second, I can't imagine that the movie is THAT BAD that they would delay it nine months, so I'm inclined to kinda-sorta' take the exec's word for it.

Thirdsquaw, as per our discussion, I bet it's because they want to avoid getting sandwiched in the hefty summer schedule, so March will probably (maybe) maximize box office returns?!?!?!

Heck, I don't know.

Zaki said...

My thoughts exactly about needing nine months to fix it if the delay is because of badness. Weirdly, I don't think the 3D thing is studio spin. Not to say they won't take advantage of the delay for some reshoots, but I don't think that's the primary reason for the delay.