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Paramount is moving G.I Joe: Retaliation from June 29 to next year, setting a date of March 29, 2013. At the same time, it’s converting the movie to 3D.
Paramount sources say that for the studio to recoup its sizable investment — it financed 50 percent of the sequel, while MGM put up 25 percent and David Ellison’s Skydance Productions is backing 25 percent — a 3D conversion needs to happen, and it wants to make sure the conversion is done right. The studio is pointing to the recent 3D version of James Cameron’s Titanic as a success story.
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Still, the movie is based on a Hasbro toy line, and some might blame the shift on the disappointing box office of Universal’s Battleship, the adaptation of the Hasbro board game that opened to just $25.5 million domestic last weekend. Paramount’s first installment of the franchise, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, grossed $300 million worldwide in 2009. But the high cost of studio tentpole movies now requires big-budget releases to gross more than that.
“[Battleship] reminds you that if you don’t do it right, you’re screwed,” says one insider.
It’s very unusual for studios to change release dates less than five weeks before the film is due in theaters, but this isn’t the first time Paramount has made such a high-profile switcheroo. It bumped Shutter Island, the Martin Scorsese–Leonard DiCaprio thriller, into a winter slot. The movie then turned into Scorsese’s biggest box-office hit.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation cost at least $125 million and features a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki and Jonathan Price. It is directed by John Chu.
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