Alfonso Cuarón tells a deeply personal story with absolute precision in "Roma"                "Creed II" is an outstanding sequel and one of the year's best films                Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards        

Paramount makes wrong scheduling move for GI Joe: Retaliation and Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol As expected, Paramount was the first to blink this afternoon, moving Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol away from its December 16th release date where it would have gone head-to-head with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. The Brad Bird-directed sequel will now open five days later, on Wednesday, December 21st. Unfortunately, instead of facing one major would-be blockbuster, it now faces several. Opening on the same day or two days later are The Adventures of Tintin, The Darkest Hour, We Bought A Zoo, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The Tom Cruise/Jeremy Renner vehicle very well may win that long Christmas weekend and benefit from those famous year-end legs. But there was another even more prime release date with absolutely no competition whatsoever.

Since Star Trek 2 is basically in development hell, there was a completely empty release slot on June 29th. However, instead of slotting the fourth Mission: Impossible film in the heart of summer, they have instead moved GI Joe 2: Retaliation (the slimmed down and allegedly grittier sequel to GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra) into the June 29th slot. GI Joe: Retaliation was slotted to open unopposed on August 10th, 2012. Yes, Lionsgate is opening The Expendables 2 just one week later, and perhaps Paramount was worried about demo overkill. But GI Joe 2 will surely be PG-13 while The Expendables 2 will likely be R-rated. First of all, GI Joe 2’s second weekend would have been the perfect alibi for youngsters wanting to sneak into the R-rated Sly Stallone/Jason Statham sequel. Second of all, it’s not like anyone was expecting the second GI Joe sequel to have anything resembling legs.

One weekend was all it needed, which is what it had and still has now. But by giving GI Joe: Retaliation the mid-summer slot, Paramount has sacrificed the fourth Mission: Impossible film to the insane overcrowding that is the last few weeks of 2011. If I were Paramount, I would have kept GI Joe 2 right where it was, on nearly the same weekend where the first film opened with $54 million two years ago. And I would have moved Mission: Impossible IV to the empty June 29th slot (that likely would have made JJ Abrams happy, which would have been a pleasant bonus). So what call would you have made in this high-stakes game of franchise musical chairs?

Photo by Paramount Pictures

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One Comment

  • August 1, 2011 | Permalink |

    I agree. Besides, a June opening for the GI JOE sequel is too early considering that they haven’t even begun shooting yet. I’d hate it if they rushed on post production. Paramount should keep the original release date.

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