Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Right idea, wrong execution: Paramount makes the wrong scheduling moves 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?

Scott Mendelson    


Liam_Ho said...

I could be wrong but I could've sworn it's now being called GI Joe: Retaliation. It probably doesn't matter, any R-word would've worked.

Scott Mendelson said...

I read it as 'retribution' for some weird reason, but you are correct. Thanks for catching that (and catching it early, natch).

Liam_Ho said...

I believe you missed one 'Retribution', 2nd paragraph and 3rd line.

Kyle Leaman said...

Didn't I just read an article about the brilliance of the Paramount marketing team?


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