For those of you not interested in modern reincarnations of cartoons from the 1980s that were created to sell toys…and really, how can I blame you?…this will all be painfully uninteresting to you. Tune out now and check back next week, where we’ll return to the more socially-acceptable subject of men with their underwear on the outside.
Like our imaginary executive says, the G.I. Joe sequel, originally scheduled to come out in June, has been pushed back to March. Ostensibly, to convert the film to 3D. That’s all we’ve gotten officially, and it feels like a pretty weak excuse. Not leastwise because they specifically had that conversation with their director before the start of shooting, and they apparently decided it wasn’t worth the extra cost. Well, you say, maybe converting it to 3D after the fact was cheap enough for them to change their minds. Okay, fine, but what about the cost of that Superbowl commercial of theirs, which has now essentially been rendered useless? That’s a hell of an expense tossed out the window for a whim.
The most prevalent theory floating around is that the studio simply feared its competition. They didn’t put all this time and money into a movie so they could open in the shadow of The Avengers and then be immediately knocked out of the public eye by the one-two punch of Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. And fair enough, but again…why wait until so late in the game to realize it? It didn’t occur to them that these movies would probably be monster hits? How could I know that and they didn’t?
Speaking of things that we all knew and the professionals didn’t, others think that it was the disappointing returns for Battleship that made everyone nervous about releasing another Hasbro-toy-based property so soon. And I don’t even have to point out the obvious flaw in that reasoning, but I will: you can’t compare anything else to a Battleship movie because nothing is stupider than a Battleship movie. If the people who green-lit that project had any friends, those friends would have used those exact same words. “Nothing is stupider than a Battleship movie.”
And why not simply delay Retaliation till August? Or hell, anytime this year, to take advantage of whatever buzz they’ve already generated up till this point (which will almost completely evaporate and have to be rebuilt in 2013) and so the merchandise can be pushed through the holiday season? Well, the reason for that one might have something to do with the confirmed reshoots and the reaction to test screenings. It could just be that the movie isn’t very good, and needs some extensive work to turn it into something that’ll make ANY money. Which, frankly, makes me wonder where all these discerning test-screening audiences were during that brainwashed Baroness bullshit from the first movie.
End of the day, it could very well be that delaying Retaliation was the smartest move Paramount/Hasbro could make under the circumstances. But even if that’s true, they’re only IN those circumstances due to a series of poor decisions that led them there. And even if the movie performs decently come March, it won’t change the losses Hasbro specifically will suffer as a result of jerking around the retailers who’ve been discounting merchandise to clear space for toys that aren’t coming anytime soon, or cancelling their popular animated series for the sole purpose of not conflicting with the movie. This all can be (and has been) spun a hundred different ways, and I’m all for remaining optimistic, but I think no matter how you slice it, that this officially counts as a screw-up. Even if we don’t know exactly at what point along the path it occurred.
Quotable quotes from @JoshCritic:
“In related movie news, Dark Knight Rises is actually moving its release date UP. The official statement from WB: ‘Bring it the fuck on’.”