The Real Reasons Why G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Was Delayed

     May 30, 2012


Last week, we reported the shocking news that Paramount had moved G.I. Joe: Retaliation from June 29th all the way back to March 29, 2013 for a “conscientious 3D” post-conversion, which no one bought for a second as the sole reason to scrap a prime summer release date five weeks before the movie was set to open.  The following day, star Dwayne Johnson, who plays Roadblock, told a fan on Twitter that they were “Designing new scenes to enhance 3D,” meaning that reshoots were going down.  It turns out that enhanced 3D scenes weren’t the only thing being shot.

Hit the jump for more.

GIJoe2_Duke_Poster_Channing_TatumAccording to Deadline, the film’s test scores were “mediocre to bad”.  That’s not too much of a shock, but films with crappy test scores have still stuck to their release date, and they’ve especially stuck to a release date when it’s only five weeks away.  But apparently those scores were partly the result of not enough Channing Tatum in the picture. Before the year began, I would say that the problem could have been too much Tatum, but 2012 seems to be the year where his charisma finally begins to come to the surface.  He did a nice supporting turn in Haywire, and he changed the minds of a lot of doubters (myself included) with 21 Jump Street.  Paramount could care less about Haywire, but they like the box office returns for Jump Street and The Vow.

Tatum’s new popularity is one of the reasons why Paramount has responded to test audiences’ complaint about Tatum’s character, Duke, getting killed off at the beginning of the film.  Even the trailer made it look liked the character got knocked off, but we debated on this week’s podcast about whether the character was really dead (I argued that he may have simply fallen down a well, but was still alive like Baby Jessica).  According to Deadline, the studio has already shot more stuff between Duke and Roadblock to develop the friendship between the characters.  At least now the poster we premiered won’t be for a character who’s in the movie for less than ten minutes.  Insiders also say they didn’t want to have uniformed Tatum competing against stripper Tatum in Magic Mike, which was set to open the same weekend.  While I’m sure Steven Soderbergh’s movie would certainly peel away some of the female demographic, it couldn’t be enough to push G.I. Joe: Retaliation so far back.  The 3D is truly the larger financial consideration

While we scoffed at the notion of how much 3D could potentially boost box office relative to the cost of reshoots and re-marketing the film, we forgot about the international market.  Stateside, a 3D post-conversion is no longer a guarantee of a box office bump, but the new technology is proving to be a boon overseas.  New 3D theaters are popping up in Russia and China every week, and they’ll have plenty more by the time March 2013 rolls around.  The benefit of international box office could be much larger than the potential return the movie would get in 2D this summer.  March may be a slower month at the box office than June (do not point to The Hunger Games as a counter-argument; G.I. Joe 2 is not The Hunger Games), but Paramount believes the film will still deliver overseas as long as the flick is in 3D.  As one source tells Deadline:

“Then a week ago Battleship basically had the same performance as John Carter – $60M-$70M U.S. and just over $200M international. That was just a wake-up call that said to us we need to offer the best version of the film irrespective of summer market share to ensure the best possible performance. And not being in 3D will cost us a ton of business internationally.”

Paramount claims that the 3D conversion itself will only end up costing about $5 million and the budget should stay under $130 million.  However, no one is saying how much the reshoots will cost.  Additionally, we still don’t’ have an answer as to how much money Paramount just wasted in marketing the film for a June 29th release date, and how much more they’ll have to spend in order to get audiences excited again for March 29, 2013.


  • SP1234

    So they’re reshooting it with more Channing Tatum stuff. Sounds reasonable, I actually liked him in the first movie.

  • Rev. Slappy

    That it’s a bad movie is the only logical explanation for the move. Has there ever been a major tent pole film get bumped this close to the release date, with its marketing plan in full swing?

    • Christian

      I would say Shutter Island got really close too.

  • Adolf

    It’s gonna be both financial and quality disaster, nobody doubts that.

    • Carson

      Doubt that. The first film grossed >300 Million internationally. Just cause it’s not your cup of tea doesn’t mean others won’t line up to watch it. Yo Joe!

  • Mr. Me

    Goldberg: it’s “couldn’t” care less; not the colloquially misused version.

  • Underground Anthem TX

    Is it too late to just re-hire Stephen Sommers and start over with this mess of a sequel? Please?

    • Johnny

      Yes the first movie sucked (except for Snake Eyes and Stormshadow), but I was optimistically looking forward to the sequel, mostly because I think the Rock, despite not being black, will make a good Roadblock. Roadblock’s voice is iconic GI Joe to me, so with it being different, and I’m sure not rhyming all the time (lol), might be disappointing.
      The other reason I was stoked- Cobra Commander. Someone above said he wasn’t in it but that is not true. Cobra Commander IS IN IT, and he looks near perfect. Chrome mask and all. Not like the abomination in the first movie.
      So now I have to wait til next year??

      • Mel


        Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is Black. Or for those of you who want to be technical – Half Black and half Samoan and Samoans are definitely people of color with brown skin, and many have kinky hair texture. So don’t get it twisted – he’s Black and more than adequate to play Roadblock.

      • Mel


        Gotta say Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will more than likely be a great Roadblock. Hell he’s the main reason I want to see this movie. However, I must correct you. Dwayne is Black. For those of you more technical, he is half Black and half Samoan. Samoans are people of color with brown skin and some with kinky hair (where do you think that comes from?). So he’s Black and quite frankly super happy to FINALLY see him play a Black man with Black children in a film.

      • Martine

        The first movie did very well. It grossed over 300 mil so i am not sure what you mean by that. Dwayne Johnson is black. So obviously you are not the brightest bulb in the tree. But the reason the first movie worked was Duke. I am really not going to see a movie with the Rock in the lead. he simply isn’t charismatic enough to be the leading guy.

    • Johnny

      @ Underground Anthem TX:
      Seriously?! Are you retarded? Stephen Sommers sucks and is a major reason why the first film was so terrible.

    • Johnny

      @ Underground Anthem TX:

      Are you kidding me?! Stephen Sommers sucks and is a major reason why the first film was so lame.

  • Sugreev2001

    I’m one of the people who actually started to like Channing after seeing 21 Jump Street,hated him in everything he did before that…in particular,the first GI Joe.

  • Michael Horne

    I liked the first film. Didn’t take itself too seriously (if at all) and had actors who were getting more out of their characters than was written (i.e. they had charisma). More Tatum would certainly help the sequel – like it or not, he was the heart of the first film.

  • taylor

    I was able to test screen the film several months ago. And i Can tell you that is far superior to the first film, but by no means a perfect film. I definitely had problems with it, but in the end it was a fun, summer popcorn movie. While i will probably get in trouble by the studio for writing this, i feel like the internet as a whole has made a much bigger deal about how “Bad” the film is. In the end, i feel like bringing back Tatum (if that’s what they are planning to do) could be a good thing, as the interaction between duke and roadblock was one of my favorite things in the film.

  • John Blaze

    Oh my god, they’re following the animated GI JOE movie? Where Duke is dead but not dead? Sweeeeeeeeeeet!!

  • Richard

    I saw the toys in store yesterday. 99% of the general public probably have no idea the movie’s been pushed back.

  • Danny

    This particular film was doomed since the title change with Cobra but Cobra Commander is not in it. I would be willing to bet a flop now with this push backed date. Dwayne Johnson may not be able to save it. They should reshoot and not kill off every character from the original (especially Duke and Hawk). And why move the sequal away from Cobra Commander’s inclusion? The first movie was fun, this time around it takes itself too seriously even with the “Original Joe”.

  • Ash Talon

    Tatum was only passable in 21 Jumpstreet, because he was essentially playing a dumb jock. It’s certainly not proof that he’s gained any acting ability. He literally sleepwalked through Rise of Cobra. If he can somehow find it in himself to not mumble his lines and actually give a damn this time, maybe he’ll be okay. I certainly wouldn’t think more of Tatum in anything is a plus. But I certainly don’t have tastes that line up with the general audience.

  • reut

    they should just make it look like tatum is dead and have him be captured or some crap and roadblock and co rescue him when they try and get revenge for all the other lesser joes deaths. done and done. like John Blaze said, just like the cartoon.

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  • zas

    I will now not watch that movie next year. on purpose !
    I’m so sick of 3D. It’s only there for financial reasons and it doesnt look better nor does it enhance the story or viewing expearience.. this is now the prime example
    its utter bs…

  • ei ro

    the rock needs to remove his butt plug, he always looks like he dropped something nasty in his pants.

  • Kara

    I didnt know Channing died!!!! Why didn’t u put spoiler???


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  • blue

    More Channing Tate??? That guy is a horrible actor 2 me. Same emotion all the time. I grew up on g.i.joe, but the first 1 really wasn’t good and after reading this, i am just gonna pass on part 2

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  • matt

    So do they just give him more screentime before they kill him off or do they not kill him off hoping Retaliation isn’t a bomb and can include him in a future GI Joe 3? GI Joe 1′s hokey characters (Wayans, Quaid, etc.) ruined what should have been a underhanded pitch for Box Office success and put the proverbial coffin lid on Tatum’s. The only thing that kept it from getting nailed shut were some surprisingly good roles and cameos in The Eagle, The Dilemma, 21 Jump Street, Magic Mike (at least acknowledging he has achieved sex symbol status). That and the thought of a Duke-less Joe’s franchise being just unthinkable should appeal to keeping the role alive, if not “Baby Jessica’d,” for the hope of a third installment.

  • Ant the Rant

    Tons of doom cloud predictions, fretting over Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, comments on Channing Tatum’s likeability, and not a single mention of a major X-Factor for this firm. Bruce Willis. He is sure to add some color to the flick. Bruce is very well liked across many demographics.

    I will say that I find it to be stupid that the studio wants to dance around the terrorism plot line when it’s the central story arch for the entire franchise. Without Cobra Commander there is no true COBRA, and without COBRA there is no GI Joe.

    I also would like to add that Roadblock cold have easily been cast properly true to the IP.
    I hate perception that movies need to be carried, but in a perfect world I would have gone with a shaved head Wesley Snipes for pennies on the dollar. You get yourself a leading actor, with the physique, the combat chops, and gun training. But… the man didn’t want to pay his taxes. So he’ll be getting out when this movie is slated for it’s DVD release.

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  • Andre

    Taylor, I was an extra in the film. I shot on a nuclear warhead scene as one of four Arabs carrying a warhead. Did you notice if my scene was cut? It took us a week to film that mess. I was the front Arab, two guys behind me carrying a warhead, they come in, we get shot

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  • brittney

    why not release the 2d one and release the 3d one next year becase thats manly what they did with every other movie thats in 2d

  • Alex

    I do not know why Adewale is not being featured in Retaliation. More of Tatum- well, that sounds OK. I wish we can see more of B. Willis

  • Why the hell is even paramount is thinking about killing Duke/Tatum

    Why the hell is even paramount is thinking about killing Duke/Tatum? Are they fucking retard? Duke is like the poster boy of Gi Joe. Just like Dante for DMC, Kartos for GOW., Squall for FF 8 they must out of thier mind to do it. Fuck u all,

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  • DeadK1tten

    I had thought the movie was released some time ago, and went to find it online today, and this is what I get? .w .

    • micko

      4 months later, the same for me xD i just saw the trailer and thought was the 3rd and i was like “mmm i didn’t see the 2nd” xD

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  • Chham Tak Sean

    Duke can’t die. In the original GI Joe animated series, Duke is one of fans’ favorites. Plus, Duke in the GI Joe animated series and in the original GI Joe animated movie manage to escape death despite many close encounters. If Duke’s character dies in Retaliation, lots of fans will be very disappointed and bummed. The box office most likely will produce its fair shares of revenues, because GI Joe sells itself. However, sales of DVD will surely take a plunge.

  • narishma

    dis show waz fuckin awesome i swear

  • narishma

    but y duke had to dead he waz 2 sexxii to dead

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