Real Reasons Behind 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' Release Delay Revealed
Just one week ago, Hollywood was in a tizzy when Paramount Pictures announced it would pull its summer blockbuster sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation from its June 29th release slot in favor of a March 29th, 2013 release to allow for a post-production 3D conversion. And while the appeal of bigger box office numbers overseas from the inflated ticket price seemed like a good reason, we didn't think that was the only one. Now Deadline has word on why the film was really delayed, and it confirms our worst fears. However, there's a slight chance that Paramount could salvage something from this blockbuster debacle. Read on!
First of all, just so everyone knows, this kind of delay is a big deal. Mainly because a little over a month before release, big advertising campaigns were already starting on billboards, buses and TV, not to mention a slew of toys in warehouses, some already on shelves and other promotions kicking off, not to mention a Super Bowl ad from earlier this year. And now we know for sure that Paramount was neither proud nor confident in the film's ability to perform at the box office on a global scale after test scores following focus group screenings were "mediocre to bad." Those reshoots that Dwayne Johnson talked about shortly after the delay aren't just for 3D scenes, but they're intended to save the film in general. But how?
Well, apparently one of the bigger complaints from the focus group screenings was a plot point that was hinted at, and made pretty clear in the trailers: Channing Tatum's character Duke was going to be killed in the beginning of the film. Apparently audiences really liked the rapport between Roadblock (Johnson) and Duke, and had the rug swept out from under them when Tatum was killed off. The studio wasn't planning on Tatum becoming a bigger deal this year with 21 Jump Street and The Vow exceeding expectations. Now new scenes are being filmed that will likely make Duke a much more prominent character and survive the sequel, at least past the first ten minutes this time.
Of course, one of the other concerns involving Tatum's involvement in the film is somewhat amusing. That same weekend, Steven Soderbergh's male stripper movie Magic Mike, based on Tatum's real-life time spent as an exotic dancer, is hitting theaters and apparently the studio wasn't a fan of the action figure Channing Tatum competing with a shirtless, dancing Channing Tatum in the same weekend. So now we wait nine months, hope reshoots fix what sounds like a sub-par sequel, and maybe Paramount still has a fun action flick on their hands. Either way, the pressure is one for something to be salvaged from this mess, and hopefully it's not just international box office gross from 3D ticket prices.