In a surprising move, Paramount Pictures has delayed the release of their upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation until March 29, 2013, a full nine months after its originally planned release date of June 29th.
Part of the postponement allows for the film to undergo a full 3D conversion.
"It is increasingly evident that 3D resonates with movie-goers globally and together with Paramount, we made the decision to bring fans an even more immersive entertainment experience," said Brian Goldner, Hasbro's President and CEO in an official statement.
The new date puts the sequel up against Andrew Niccol's adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's The Host.
Given the mountains of merchandise on toy store shelves and even more in terms of advertising and marketing … this seems fishy, especially so close to the release date.
Some online pundits point to the failure of Battleship to conquer the box office as a limitation on military themed films with ensemble casts. Likewise, the multi-week domination of movies like The Hunger Games, The Avengers and what is expected of The Dark Knight Rises makes it hard for movies opening in the wake of such cinematic juggernauts to gain any traction. In the wake of our fandom, we often forget that this is a business with millions of dollars and scores of jobs in the balance. Three weeks after the formerly proposed opening date, Bruce Wayne re-enters the discussion, Prometheus bows three weeks before and even Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter could take funds out of the pocket of genre fans, and in hard times, there's only so much to go around. The deep pockets at Hasbro and Paramount, simply, blinked. The 3D argument is spurious, because it's considered much smarter to do that beforehand.
As well, for certain participants this is a blow to their careers. Adrianne Palicki's Wonder Woman pilot sank like a stone, and this was another chance for her to get into the Angelina Jolie action star mode. As well, site favorite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's action star fortunes didn't take the Schwartzenegger/Willis trajectory as many might have believed, and a big impact in this could get him back in that game, maybe freeing up his stalled Spy Hunter movie and filling in the holes as to his desire to play a DC Comics character.
In any case, in that this film was originally moved up to replace the Star Trek sequel on their release slate, there will be some repercussions for the company, despite their financial stake in The Avengers.