Well this is rather shocking. Director Jon M. Chu‘s G.I. Joe: Retaliation was slated to open on June 29th, a little over a month away, but now Paramount has made a last-minute decision to push the film back all the way to March 29th of 2013. Deadline reports that the move was made in order to do a “conscientious 3D” post-conversion. This is a bit nuts, as we’ve already seen a ton of promotional material including trailers, TV spots, character posters, and even a fair share of interviews. Hit the jump for much more.
Per Deadline, a Paramount studio exec notes that 3D betters the international box office of a film greatly and cites the massive success of The Hunger Games as a reason to move to March. Currently the only other two films slated for release on March 29th are the sci-fi adaptation of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s novel The Host and Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor.
3D may better international box office, but hasn’t the studio already blown their marketing wad on the film already? We’ve seen a number of trailers that were precisely made to drum up awareness in increments, but how will they market the pic next year when there’s no new footage left to show without spoiling the movie entirely?
It’s possible that the 3D may boost international ticket sales, but I’m not convinced that the release date shift will drastically improve the film’s domestic performance. The Hunger Games made a shit-ton of money because the book series has an insanely large and rabid fanbase, and because Gary Ross made a good movie. Moreover, I’m confused as to how they plan to launch a brand new marketing campaign early next year. Are they just going to pretend that all the promotional material released over the past few months never happened? Regardless, this move definitely allows for greater box office potential for the films opening on and around G.I. Joe’s old date, including Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Amazing Spider-Man.
I was actually kind of onboard with Jon M. Chu’s G.I. Joe follow-up. Dwayne Johnson adds an enormous amount of charisma to every film he’s in, and the trailers promised lots of ninja goodness. That said, I’m not sure that my cautious optimism will hold for another nine months. What about you, fine readers? Does this release date shift impact your anticipation level for the film?