EXCLUSIVE: Ever since I scooped the news a week ago about G.I. Joe: Retaliation moving from June 29th to March 29th, 2013, no one was buying Paramount‘s excuse that “adding 3D” was the only reason for the 9 month delay. Least of all me. So I did some snooping. And what I found out shows the difficult decisions which Hollywood moguls are facing in this challenging box office environment when even franchises aren’t sure things. (Witness last weekend’s Men In Black 3.) And at what point and at what cost do the top execs make changes in their films already shooting or in post-production or even five weeks out from release in order to head off a disaster?
Hollywood was gobsmacked that Paramount vacated the primo date this summer, especially because the studio blew a wad on a Super Bowl commercial and already was starting TV and outdoor ads for GI Joe 2. Not to mention the toys, warehouses full of them ready and waiting, already on shelves. Or the big screen trailer attacjed this past weekend to MIB3. But the fact is that Paramount became extremely concerned about G.I. Joe 2‘s box office prospects worldwide after its test scores were mediocre to bad. Reshoots were needed. Plus, the moguls realized what a complete miscalculation it was to kill off Channing Tatum in the sequel. And even more so … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation was supposed to come out this summer on June 29th. But I’ve learned that Paramount is moving the movie nine months to March 29, 2013, to add 3D. “We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally,” one of the studio execs just told me. “Jim Cameron did all of Titanic‘s 3D in post — and look how well that movie turned out.” Hollywood is shocked that Paramount vacated the primo date, especially because Paramount blew a wad on a Super Bowl commercial and already was starting TV and outdoor ads for GI Joe 2. Paramount has had luck delaying films before: its decision to move Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island gave the director his biggest box office hit ever. And right now, 3D is huge internationally, with Russia and China building new 3D theaters by the week. Also the execs say that the blockbuster performance of The Hunger Games shows that March can be a prime time of the year to release movies. Of course, Paramount had to talk its partners on GI Joe 2 into the extra nine months of carrying costs – MGM, which has 25%, and David Ellison’s Skydance, which has another 25%. The $125M-budgeted actioner stars Channing Tatum, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Bruce Willis and is directed by Jon Chu.
Related: G.I. Joe: Retaliation Release Date: The REAL Reason For The Delay… Read More »
UPDATE, 9:40 AM: Hasbro’s in “active discussions” with Paramount, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg about a fourth Transformers, CEO Brian Goldner told analysts in a conference call today. ”Hopefully I’ll have more news for you next quarter,” he said. The most recent edition, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, will generate revenues for Hasbro between the $482M from the first film in the series in 2007 and $592M from the previous one in 2009. In other movie news, the company is reworking the budget for a film based on its Ouija game in the hope of reviving the project that Universal recently dropped. Battleship is on course to be released worldwide in April and in May in the U.S., with G.I. Joe: 2 following in June. Hasbro is working with J.J. Abrams on Micronaughts. Goldner says Hasbro is “actively developing” scripts for films based on Monopoly, Risk, and Clue as well as “projects yet to be named.” Goldner says, though, that Hasbro won’t produce its own films.
The CEO adds that cable channel The Hub is “making great progress” and is “ahead of plan” overseas where its programming runs in 142 countries. The channel is in 61M homes domestically; talks to increase distribution on cable are “going quite well,” although Goldner wouldn’t be specific. Ratings are up. On the advertising side, the channel has 120 more sponsors than it did last year when it was still Discovery Kids.
Goldner’s presentation impressed investors: Hasbro shares are up about 1% in midday trading. They opened down after the company reported 3Q earnings below expectations. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Now that the launch of Super 8 is behind him, JJ Abrams is moving toward a commitment to direct Star Trek 2. But just as Deadline has been telling you, there’s no way that he’ll be able to make the June 29, 2012 release date that Paramount carved out for the film. I’m told that the studio will give that slot to G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the sequel that will be directed by Jon M. Chu and stars Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson and Adrianne Palicki, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing.
Abrams has just returned from vacation and is hunkering down with writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof to work on the Trek script and beginning prep for a Trek sequel that will likely begin production in January and either be dated for release for the fourth quarter of 2012 or summer 2013. Abrams hasn’t formally committed and hasn’t approved a script yet, but the studio has exercised its option on the cast and they will be ready when Abrams is. All this means that Chris Pine will definitely play Captain Kirk before he reboots Jack Ryan for the same studio. Read More »
Joe Mazzello has been set to play the role of Mouse in G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes, a role a lot of young guys wanted in the Jon M. Chu-directed Paramount film that stars Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki and Ray Stevenson. Mazzello, the kid in the original Jurassic Park, most recently co-starred in the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries The Pacific and was last seen in The Social Network. He also co-starred in Josh Schwartz’s ABC pilot Georgetown. He’s repped by UTA and Podwall Entertainment.
I’m told that Paramount Pictures has chosen Jon M. Chu to direct G.I. Joe 2, the sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Chu just made the studio a pile of dough with Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. The competition came down to Chu and Gary Gray. Production will begin in the fall. Chu is repped by WME and Principato Young. I’m told they are working out his deal, but that he’s been told he is the choice. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing. The next task will be to figure out which cast members are returning. I’ve heard the studio is starting with Channing Tatum, and trying to work out a deal for him to reprise.