Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
April 3, 2013
Kim Hollis: Do you think that the nine-month delay for GI Joe: Retaliation helped it or hurt it? Explain your reasoning.
Brett Ballard-Beach: I waver somewhere between thinking that it had negligible effect to thinking that it may have helped ever so slightly (on the domestic front. I think the decision to add 3D was a smart move for the international market and the delay for that reason only improved its chances to soar past the $150 million international gross of Rise of Cobra).
I am thinking of this as a situation very similar to Fantastic Four with regards to Rise of the Silver Surfer. You have a first film that did decently but wasn't a humongous hit in relation to cost (and that neither fans, critics, nor the general public was clamoring for a sequel to) followed by a sequel that opened about the same, will end up grossing about the same, and is more of a reboot than a sequel. The key differences being that the new GI Joe comes in at significantly less than the first film and will be a bigger hit overseas than the first film was (Silver Surfer cost more and grossed about the same overseas). What I find interesting about GI Joe: Retaliation is that it may mark the first time that the first sequel has hit the reset button and attempted to "relaunch" the franchise. It's almost as if there was some devious plan to make such a crappy first film that would justify a second film being made to remedy the situation (also known as how to spend $300 million very quickly). Well-played Habsbro/Willis/Chu/Rock/Tatum, well-played.
Bruce Hall: I hadn't considered the effect of 3D with respect to the international gross (there I go forgetting about the rest of the world again), so that's a good point. But I think that opening it this week instead of last summer, when a deeply mediocre film like this might get lost among the other blockbusters, ended up looking like a smart move. I'm not trying to say that last summer's slate of blockbusters was uniformly strong, but based on expectations at the time, it's easy to see Paramount not wanting to take the risk. A lot of people will argue that the delay was tantamount to polishing a turd, but everything's prettier when it's shiny, right? In fact so far, it's $132 million pretty. And I would expect this film to retain its top spot domestically at least through next week as well, so the story isn't quite over yet.
Edwin Davies: I think it definitely helped, just that it didn't necessarily turn things around all that much for the film domestically. I'm fairly certain that GI Joe: Reset will wind up topping out below what the first film made domestically, though it'll probably do somewhat better overseas (though the performance of A Good Day to Die Hard has demonstrated the limits of that model) and will justify the announced third film, albeit somewhat weakly. I struggle to see this as anything other than a heavily qualified success, but at the same time I can only imagine how badly it would have done if it had stuck to its original release date and got sandwiched between The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.
Shalimar Sahota: If Retaliation had kept to its original June 2012 release I think it might have opened to the same (maybe a smidgen less). The only difference being that having the film mixed in with the blockbusters of last summer, it probably wouldn't have the legs to stick around in the long run, disappearing fairly quickly. I'd say Paramount made a smart move, for looking ahead I imagine Retaliation's only real direct competition in April will be Oblivion.
Jason Barney: I don't think it helped much, and in fact, it may have hurt it a bit. I just think the numbers that it could have garnered from the original release date would have surpassed anything that it could have done this last weekend. I think they took more of a risk releasing it on Easter weekend than they would have had to if they just kept it on the schedule for last July. The film will make money, thanks to international gross, but nine months had a minor impact one way or the other. They took a risk and weren't hurt greatly by it.