Just last week, Paramount abruptly decided to push G.I. Retaliation from its original June 29th release to March 29th 2013, to convert the film into 3D. Many, including ourselves, did not buy the act for one bit. Some news confirms that the film is not testing as well as the studio had hoped and also opening up against the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens five days after G.I. Retaliation, had forced Paramount to make its decision to push back the release date. But there is more to it than that, much more.
Part of the reason why the film isn’t testing as well as the studio would have hoped is because the first film’s major protagonist, Duke (played by Channing Tatum), is barely in this sequel. Test audiences loved the on-screen chemistry between Duke and Roadblock (played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson). Tatum’s recent success has made him a huge draw and a very likable person amongst audiences, so it was a surprise that he’s not going to be a big part of this follow-up. This, along with the reactions from those same test audiences saying the entire movie was either bad or just mediocre, doesn’t spell box office gold for Paramount.
If you’ve seen the trailer for Retaliation, then you already know the premise of the film. If you don’t want spoilers, skip over the next paragraph.
Reportedly, audiences were caught off guard when they saw Duke die within the first few moments of the film. So to kill him off so early in the film – which was pretty evident in previous trailers such as this one – was a major turn off for test audiences. That and
So while Paramount says that the delay is because they want to release the film in 3D, another reason why the studio is pushing back the release date is because they want to add more scenes of Channing Tatum in the movie. According to Deadline, “The 3D is an excuse as to not reveal the Tatum of it all.” Again, those test audiences loved the rapport between Duke and Roadblock, so now they are reshooting and adding more scenes to have the two characters together more.
Another reason why they decided to pull the release date was because they did not want to have competitimg Tatum films on the same weekend. Tatum stars in Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper and semi-biopic Magic Mike. The film will be a huge draw for the female demographic, something that Paramount doesn’t want to lose with G.I. Joe Retaliation.
Hopefully with all the reshoots, Paramount can salvage G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which looked like it was going to tank based on the reactions from test audiences.