I know better than anyone that GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra was a "disappointment" to the fans. But rather than dwell on the downside (Can anyone really explain to me the purpose of putting the nanobot warheads in the particle accelerator was?), I chose to focus on the positive: Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow had an epic duel, and Sienna Miller looked hot as a brunette with glasses.
I was more than a little surprised to learn they were pressing ahead with a sequel/reboot, but I rejoiced that one of the most influential franchises of my childhood was being given a second chance.
I even got excited when the movie actually didn't look half-bad. Bruce Willis was in it. The Rock was in an action role I was interested in seeing. (Please, Rock, don't ever dress up as the Tooth Fairy again...) They got Ray Park and the Korean Guy who's name I can't spell to come back as Snak Eyes and Storm Shadow. Ray Stevenson was playing Firefly.
This looked like fun to me. I even had people who didn't bother with the first iteration tell me this looked like a GI Joe movie they would go see.
But all that was before The Avengers released. Three weeks on top of the box office, in May, plus good reviews is huge. I mean it won't win an Oscar, but it has raked in the cash and that's THE most important thing in Hollywood.
So if you're a studio with a team-based franchise movie about to be released, you can't be blamed for looking at that success and trying to figure out how to capture a little of that lightning. But at this point, what can you do?
Convert your movie to 3D, of course. Obviously that was the secret to The Avengers' success. (To be fair, an honest case can be made that The Avengers made $1B partly because 3D and IMAX tickets are more expensive) So that's what's being done to GI Joe. But conversion takes time, and that means we need to bump the release date of the movie just a teensy bit.
GI Joe: Retaliation will now hit screens in March, 2013.
You read that correctly, folks. I couldn't believe it either. Here's some proof:
It's not the 3D. It's the fact that this Summer has become obviously crowded: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, Brave, even The Expendables 2. Assuming for the moment that GI Joe is good (and I know that's a big assumption) it was not going to pull in the kinds of numbers those movies will. John Carter tanked, Dark Shadows bombed, the numbers look horrible for Battleship... This Summer people are still going to the movies, but they will go to the quality product and they will do it over and over again.
There's also the fact that Channing Tatum is starring in a movie about male strippers called Magic Mike that will be released this Summer too. I'm sure that unintentional cross-promotion didn't help. Nor the news that Tatum was a stripper in an earlier career.
Of course, it's also likely the movie sucks...
Make the pain stop!