'G.I. Joe': Top 10 reasons Paramount bumped it from summer
You’ve probably heard by now that Paramount Pictures has delayed the release of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” its only summer action film, moving it from June 29 to March 2013. The surprise move came just five weeks before the $125-million movie, which stars Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis, was due for release in thousands of theaters across the globe. Universal immediately moved “Ted,” its Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy, up from July 13 to June 29.
Paramount decided to delay "G.I. Joe" to convert it to 3-D, said a person close to the studio who was not authorized to be identified discussing the matter publicly. But that explanation is running into some skepticism in town and has inspired a wealth of speculation about why the studio really would make such a last-minute decision involving such a costly summer film. Was the movie even worse than the first film in the series? Did Paramount run out of marketing money to support the picture? Or was the summer competition just too stiff?
10) Channing Tatum was unavailable to do summer press junkets after having a series of ab transplants.
9) “Ted’s” Seth MacFarlane actually won the date from Paramount boss Brad Grey in a high-stakes poker game.
8) Test screenings revealed that audiences overwhelmingly preferred seeing Dwayne Johnson’s acting in 3-D.
7) The studio’s Oscar consultants lobbied for the move, saying Bruce Willis would have a much better shot at a supporting actor nod in 2013.
6) The studio needed more time to complete negotiations for the return of its entire allotment of G.I. Joe action toys after they were mistakenly shipped to Iran last month.
5) The United Nations informed Paramount that releasing “G.I. Joe” on the same day as Channing Tatum’s other film, the male stripper tale “Magic Mike,” would violate the Geneva Conventions' rules on torture.
4) The studio didn’t want to overshadow the fifth-week grosses from “The Dictator.”
3) Market research determined that movies with “Joe” in the title performed far better in March than in June.
2) Dwayne Johnson felt that if the movie were delayed nine months, the press wouldn’t ask him so many questions about “Tooth Fairy.”
And the No. 1 reason why Paramount delayed the release of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”: Getting its last summer movie off the schedule lets everybody at the studio spend the whole month of July in the Hamptons.
-- Patrick Goldstein
Photo: Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis in a scene from the film "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." Credit: Jamie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures