This NerdBastard was stunned the other week when news that the release date for G.I.Joe: Retaliation was being pushed back an entire year so the film could be converted to 3D. Studios just don’t pull a film out of the summer lineup, stop a massive toy tie-in and advertising scheduled without there being major problems with the film. Is it any wonder so many G.I.Joe fans were concerned.

Everyone felt that there had to be more to the story, one question was why hadn’t the film already been converted to 3D? All the major summer releases have had 3D content. Some more details have come out about Paramount’s decision to push back the release. Paramount insiders confided with Deadline’s Nikki Finke about some of the other reasons that G.I.Joe: Retaliation was suddenly yanked out of this summer’s lineup.

“This was a case of letting a schedule to fill a summer slot dictate the film not being in 3D even though we knew that would be the most commercial version of the film. Then in the spring there were 2 big events. First John Carter lost $200M despite the best efforts of the Pixar brain trust. But the 3D film managed to gross over $200M overseas, nearly tripling its U.S. take.

“Also Channing Tatum had a breakout spring, starring in The Vow and 21 Jump Street. In our first screening of the film the reaction from audiences was good but with 2 big concerns: 1) They didn’t like the fact that Channing and The Rock really didn’t have any time to develop a friendship before Channing died, and 2) Why wasn’t it going to be in 3D? We went back and shot another week with Channing to develop more of his story with The Rock, which made the film play much better. But we didn’t have the time to be in 3D.

“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.”

How will this move affect the overall cost of G.I.Joe: Retaliation?

“Several 3D houses had already approached us about doing the film in 3D. This move gives us the time to do it right. We are having conversations with Stereo D and Prime Focus about doing the 3D work for a reduced fee in exchange for a piece of 3D upside. Also, interest rates are very low right now. So 9 months does not have a huge impact on budget. It should stay under $130M.”

What do you think? We’ve got a year to wait and wonder if this move was worth it. There will be more coming out of Holly-weird as the actors and director Jon M. Chu get opportunities to speak out.

Category: Film

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