Deadline elaborates on potential reasons for G.I. Joe: Retaliation delay

We’ve heard it from a number of different sources, and the story is starting to become more and more clear, and now industry insider Nikke Finke has spoken up on about the delay for G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

The story is starting to sound familiar.

Yes, according to Ms. Finke, the reasons behind the G.I. Joe: Retaliation delay were much more than simply a conversion to 3D or “bad screenings”.  Sure, those played a part, but there were also other elements at work, too.  According to Paramount insiders, the screening response wasn’t so much that the film was bad, it was more centered around the fact that Roadblock and Duke didn’t really establish a great friendship and that Duke died way too early in the film.  There were also responses to the screening that asked why there was a lack of 3D in the first place.

Combining this with earlier talk that both John Carter of Mars and Battleship tanked domestically, Paramount became skittish of the surrounding competition, and elected to vacate to safer territory.  The interesting note to all of this is not just that both John Carter and Battleship did much better internationally (which they both did), but that the big draw internationally was the 3D in both films.

This is the full context of what the Paramount source had to say:

“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.”

I think it’s fair to say, now that we’ve heard from a number of industry sources that this is probably the prevailing wisdom behind the news.  It’s not nearly the “doom and gloom” that many people fear in regards to the film’s quality, it was mostly a combination of different things that led us to this.  Where we go from here is the important next step.

I will say, I haven’t seen this many industry folks talk about the G.I. Joe film franchise in the past, perhaps all of this visible conversation is good for the film in the long run?  Maybe it will spark interest from some people and put it more on the “Hollywood Radar”.  Along with, the Hollywood Reporter is also chiming in with their own analysis, that puts a bit of a more sinister focus on it, but is still talking about the film.  Time will tell.

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7 thoughts on “Deadline elaborates on potential reasons for G.I. Joe: Retaliation delay

  1. I want the BEST possible movie for the fans and mass appeal, 9 months is a small price to pay to get a great movie and Gi joe 3…. Ps GO RAVENS

  2. Pingback: So About That GI JOE: Retaliation Pushback |

  3. Fair enough. I suppose I’m just prematurely acting the part of an angry old man, because I just don’t see how 3D is making the money. I cannot see why people would prefer that over just watching the movie normally, unless it was a movie that might benefit from it. They’re just adding 3D to any old movie. I’m not even gona see the 3D version of this. Are the majority of folks really paying more to see a standard movie in 3D so that it makes or breaks a movie? One of the big questions being asked was REALLY “where’s the 3D?” Why are people asking for this? Is there some sorta collective insanity going around?

    …as I said, premature angry old man, I guess. There are other things I’m not big on, like Facebook and stuff like that, but I still understand the importance for folks that want to keep in contact but don’t live near each other or just don’t have the time to meet anymore. I don’t want to use it, but I understand why it is popular and I can see very good reasons for it to be as popular as it is. I just cannot bring that same understanding to 3D. It’s crazy.

  4. Spoiler alert in the section about Channing Tatum. At least it was for me.

  5. No idea how old you are, I’m 37 and given the choice I will always take the 3D version. If I’m going to fork out the big bucks to go to the theater I want the full experience, not the same thing I can watch at home on my big screen without all the stupid people who talk throughout the entire movie (that’s my angry old man syndrome). I want something I can’t experience at home. Massive screen, super loud explosions, popcorn, pop and 3D. Anything else is sub par.

    All that being said, movies converted to 3D after the fact usually aren’t all that great (the conversion, not the movie).

    Time will tell, but regardless, I’ll still be there opening day.

  6. Fair enough. I don’t have an amazing screen at home, so a big theater screen is still nice for me. Also, my wife and I have every other monday off from work, so we see our movies in the middle of a day when no one is seeing them, so we don’t have to deal with the people. The non 3D movie is cheaper, and I can think of maybe two or three 3D movies where the 3D actually enchanced the spectacle for me. Most of them are “meh.” I go for the same things as you: massive screen, loud explosions (well, except for the food; I just bring my own candy and if I drink pop i’ll be taking a bathroom break somewhere during the movie) but 3D is way way WAY low on the list of things I need to have a good time. All the rest of those things make the movie more interesting than 3D. Oh, and I’m 28.

    So I guess it all comes down to a matter of opinion or what you’ve got at home…so I guess I’m in the minotiry. I haven’t bothered to set up anything more than a TV in a room, so the theater is still providing a lot for me with surround sound and a giant screen. I also understand that most folks have no choice but to see movies when everyone else is seeing them, so I suppose you’d want the most bang for your buck…but….UGH I’m sorry it still hurts my head. I agree with everything but 3D. I don’t see that as extra bang. It just doesn’t impress me in the slightest. I think it was cool for Avatar…can’t even think of anywhere else where it actually impressed me. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. 3D just does nothing for me, and it costs more per movie. I can go without it.

  7. 3D is only an extra bang if it was intentionally shot for 3D — which is why it worked for Avatar. G.I. Joe was not intentionally shot for 3D, which means we’re gonna see that “after the fact” conversion that Hawkwinter was talking about. It’s not gonna be pretty.

    I’m 37 like some of you guys, which makes me feel like an old man with how fast technology moves these days. I will GLADLY give Ridley Scott my money to see Prometheus in 3D in the theatres (next weekend!), but that’s because the guy is a grade-A filmmaker who intentionally shot that puppy in 3D. G.I. Joe? 3D or 2D, it will miss exactly NOTHING if I watch it at home.

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