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Universal Delays '47 Ronin' to Christmas 2013, 'JP' 3D Moves to April

by
August 15, 2012
Source: Deadline

47 Ronin

Universal just put the first nail in the coffins of a few of their big 2013 movies. They're not going to like my complaints, but the news about the release dates they just set in 2013 has me concerned. Very concerned. Deadline reports that Universal has shifted Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin, the Japanese martial arts fantasy action epic, from its February 2013 release all the way to Christmas Day 2013. Uh, really? It was already pushed back from this November to next February, and is now getting another major delay. Universal also rescheduled their Jurassic Park 3D re-release from next July to April, and have put the Ryan Reynolds action-comedy R.I.P.D. in that coveted late July (TDK) opening slot. But I don't think that's going to work.

Here's the full set of new 2013 dates from Universal (in chronological order): Identity Thief, directed by Seth Gordon starring Melissa McCarthy & Jason Bateman, is taking 47 Ronin's old spot of February 8th; next is Jurassic Park the 3D conversion in theaters April 5th; moving into the summer they have About Time, directed by Richard Curtis with Rachel McAdams, hitting May 10th; followed by Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass 2 arriving June 28th (one of the few that has a perfect date); then it's R.I.P.D., the comic book movie with Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges, on July 19th; plus 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington & Mark Wahlberg, on August 16th. Finally, 47 Ronin was pushed to December 25th, which is a terrible idea.

All these new dates, I personally feel, are pretty much guaranteeing flops. Argue as you must, and we've got plenty of time for marketing/footage to make a difference, but audiences can also sniff out problems and that's exactly what is going on here. We all know, without even needing to hear this, that 47 Ronin is in big trouble and under a lot of debate at the studio. Deadline confirms that "this delay revolves around the need for a bit of re-shooting and visual effects work that is being done in London and couldn’t be executed while the Olympics were going on." Indeed, the perfect cover. I am hopeful for all of these movies, especially 47 Ronin, I'm just very concerned looking at these dates they've chosen. Who the heck is running this studio?

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  • desispeed
    no footage from 47 Ronin is the most troubling aspect to me about that movie...then again they must have some confidence internally to push it to Xmas instead of the Jan graveyard...maybe there is some hope??
  • Renovatio430
    I see more hope that it's being released in the coveted Christmas Day slot than anything else. Same with Jurassic Park, its in the same slot Titanic had and it has generated a lot of success.
    • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Alex Billington
      How so? A martial arts Japanese action fantasy epic opening on the Christian holiday of Christmas? Don't think that makes any sense. Plus, JP has nothing to do with Titanic, plus it's a 3D re-release. I just want my Blu-Ray! April is a notoriously bad opening month, just like August/September/February.
      • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
        But it's a perfect 'nostalgia month' for the re-release of a classic. The Lion King thrived in September, I bet Nemo will too. The Phantom Menace did well(considering the hate it gets) in February and Titanic did well in April(especially internationally). It's better to open in April where it will more or less be the only game in town than in July where it will be lost in the shuffle of a bunch of new blockbusters. Jurassic Park is older than all of those films, so there is that much more nostalgic value AND I would say it's more beloved as a classic than a few of those that I mentioned. It'll do fine in April.
        • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Alex Billington
          That's exactly why it was perfectly set IN the summer in a spot like July! Not April. Don't waste the potential of it, but that's what Universal likes to do...
          • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
            Well, I think it would get lost in the shuffle of new blockbusters if it were released in the summer. It doesn't have a marketing gimmick built into the name like Independence Day...
          • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Alex Billington
            Wait, you're saying Jurassic Park doesn't have a "marketing gimmick"? Isn't 3D the gimmick this time? Plus, it's Jurassic freakin' Park, it markets itself! Look at the people going crazy for this Indy re-release.
          • http://www.facebook.com/chris.groves.507 Chris Groves
            I meant a marketing gimmick such as a film titled Independence Day opening right around Independence Day. If ID is going to be re-released, there is no weekend more fitting than that of July 4th. Jurassic Park doesn't have something like THAT. It can either compete with the lame-o April films, or with the big July blockbusters. It can open a week after G.I. Joe 2 and 2 weeks before Oblivion, or it can open in the wake of Lone Ranger, ID 3D, PACIFIC RIM, and a week before The Wolverine and RIPD....I am not shocked at all that Universal sees greener pastures in April.
        • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Alex Billington
          In fact, why not release it on the anniversary of its original release? June 11th, 2013. Perfect. 20 years to the day.
      • Renovatio430
        Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon opened in December around Christmas and it went on to become an international sensation. Even if it doesn't completely make sense I think the date shows confidence in the project. If there wasn't any faith in it they would have given it a Sept release or even Jan/Feb 2014 release. JP is a 3D re-release, same as Titanic so I think its very fair to compare the two. I felt having two 3D re-releases so close to each other the way ID4 and JP were originally dated didn't make sense. If anything Universal saw how well Fox handled Titanic this past April and decided to follow a similar path. Also I think a case can be made about August being a bad month to open films. IF anything its becoming an extension of the summer season. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, District 9, and Inglorious Bastards were all released in August.
        • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Alex Billington
          Say wha? You do realize Universal had 47 Ronin set for November this year, then delayed it until February. Yes, it already moved to February. Confident? No way. Worried more like it. I've heard they're unhappy with what the director delivered, hence the need for reshoots and OVER A YEAR of extra work. That is NOT confidence in the least. As for August, you are right, there can be big hits. But the ones you mentioned are anomalies (and they weren't record breakers in the long run, just good for that month). I would actually claim there's usually one big breakout movie in August, that's it. If that's not your movie, everything else is just going to do okay, but not summer blockbuster levels.
  • http://twitter.com/MartinWWalker Martin Walker
    They need to do a load of re-shoots on Ronin, but Keanu has gone off to make another monster film. So they have to wait for him to finish on that before they can even begin to get ronin fixed. It might not be that bad, but they havent had a chance to put anything right yet. And as its all Keanu front and centre, they are on his timetable
  • Nolan
    Now we can find out why FOX refused directing Prometheus by Carl erik rinsch ! this guys are experimented!
  • Rosalee Adams
    Next stop DVD
  • George Caltsoudas
    Absolutely nuts. EVERYTHING I've seen from 47 Ronin looks incredible. Jaw-dropping incredible. It doesn't look like your average, boring, cliched Japanese historical pic. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was amazing, but they all try to be like that one and it gets too dull and repetitive, whereas this film looks like nothing I've ever seen before. I'm really puzzled by Universal's decisions.

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