G.I. Joe: Retaliation Delayed to March 2013 for 3-D Conversion — and Maybe That's a Good Thing

Just about a month before hitting theaters (and right on the cusp of its theatrical marketing campaign), G.I. Joe: Retaliation has been pushed back by Paramount from June 29 to March 2013 to allow for a 3-D conversion. But director Jon M. Chu and the studio had deliberately opted for filming in 2-D before the 11th hour shift. So why opt for 3-D now?

Last year, Chu was looking at his filming options but swore he'd rather go 2-D than do a post-conversion:

"If we do it in 3-D, there's no way in hell I am dimensionalizing it. I mean, dimensionalizing can work if you have the time and you have the money. But studios don't want to put in the time or the money, so what's the point? There always going to shortcut you, so why put yourself there?"

A year later, Chu spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the decision to forgo 3-D as a filming option:

"It seemed like a natural thing, but I told them, 'I know 3-D. This is what we need. If we’re going to do 3-D, we’re going to do it right.' It had a certain price tag to it, and I was like, if you guys are down I'm down, but I do need more time to do it right. And they were about to do it but they cut it just a little bit short, and [I said,] “if you guys are going to cut it short there is no point. Let’s make a movie — let’s go for it and we’ll go all out. And we shot on film, super-35, and I thought this may be one of the last times I get to shoot on film, and it was actually kind of freeing."

Clearly someone somewhere rethought that choice, and now Chu has nine months ahead of him to complete a decent post-conversion on the film. Over at Deadline, Nikki Finke reports on why the 3-D landscape now might look a little more enticing than it did when Chu and Paramount were planning the G.I. Joe sequel.

A studio source explained the move to Finke thusly: “We’re going to do a conscientious 3-D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally... Jim Cameron did all of Titanic's 3-D in post — and look how well that movie turned out.”

Here's the thing: Post-conversion detractors might still cite Clash of the Titans and its infamously muddied conversion job as reasons to avoid the added process just to squeeze out more profit in release, and until very recently I counted myself in that camp.

But one upcoming film that I caught actually made me rethink this position: Men in Black 3, a post-converted 3-D offering that might actually help turn the tide for non-native 3-D. That film's director, Barry Sonnenfeld, did a surprisingly good job demonstrating how one could pull off the post-conversion process given enough time/the right approach; MIB3 features some of the best post-converted 3-D seen so far, shockingly enough. Granted, Sonnenfeld was able to shoot in 2-D with his eventual 3-D process in mind — featuring camera work and visual gags designed specifically to be enhanced with 3-D — whereas Chu's G.I. Joe 2 likely was not. So Chu has a challenge ahead of him... but it could yet work.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation will now open on March 29, 2013.

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  • John Black says:

    Load of crap... As an avid GI Joe fan I am thoroughly pissed, I am strongly considering not seeing it because of this.

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  • Good thing!? Are you out of your mind? You don't just delay a multi-million dollar blockbuster for almost a year and decide to post-convert it to 3-D at practically the very last minute! They all but guranteed this film will fail now, Paramount are only doing this because of Battleship's dissapointing opening, well if they go through with this boneheaded decision, this film will do even
    worse then Battleship, if it's competition they're worried about, why not just delay the film until this September? It's not like they have much competition to worry about then.

    Please sign this petition for Paramount to reverse they're idiotic decision:


    • No One Of Consequence says:

      Highest Grossing film to open in March - Hunger Games ($392 million and counting)
      Highest Grossing Film to be released in September - Crocodile Dundee ($174.8 million)
      Number of films to gross over $150 million release in March - 9
      Number of films to gross over $150 million release in September - 2

      Yes, your petition makes perfect sense and proves you should be running a major film studio, instead of the yahoos at Paramount.

      • Yeah, and you know what March film wasn't a success? John Carter, it's only just starting to make back it's budget. In general March is a very hit or miss month, and March 2013 is pretty crowded now with the Percy Jackson sequel, Jack The Giant killer among other films, Hunger Games was so succesful because it was based on a very popular series of books that appealed to both the male and female demographic, it would've been succesful regardless of what month it was released in, but if it was delayed until next year at the last minute and a 3-D conversion was ordered, you can bet that would've pissed people off to no end and then it would'nt have been anywhere near as succesful. If not September, then there's always late august, that's when ROC was released and it did very well, so there's no reason to believe this film wouldn't do just as well. If that's too soon, then why not aim for a fall release? Retaliation could potentially become a big hit like MI:4 last year. And yes, i'd say I am more qualified to be head of Paramount, it's not just moviegoers they're pissing off, what the planned tie-in merchandise for the film, there's no way it's going to sell very well now, this foul-up is going to end up costing Hasbro a lot of money, and what about all the millions Paramount already spent promoting the film?(inluding not one, but TWO superbowl ads!) are they really dumb enough to risk losing any more money? Any way you look at it, this decision flies in the face of any kind of logic(except for insane troll logic)

        • No One of Consequence says:

          John Carter "flopped" in March by making $72mm domestic and $200mm international. To give you a comparison, that is a worldwide gross of more than every film released in September since 1999 (American Beauty made $356mm worldwide in 1999). September has no track record for successful action films. It is considered a dumping ground for films that are not good enough to succeed in other (more competitive) months and more recently, it is an early time to release a potential award caliber film (which I don't think anyone things GI Joe 2 is).

          Early August (where the first GI Joe was released) is likely going to be dominated by what is expected to be the "other" juggernaut summer film (The Dark Knight Rises) and late August is another dumping ground for films that couldn't cut it. The end of 2012 (i.e. the MI:4 slot) is incredibly crowded this year (there is a Bond film, a Twilight film, a Tom Cruise film, The Hobbit, and a Tarantino film, just to name a few) and Action has always had a mixed track record over the holidays (For every MI:4 there is a Spirit). I'd rather take on a Percy Jackson sequel and Jack the Giant Killer than any of those Holiday films.

          Also, don't forget that by Moving GI Joe to March, Paramount sets themselves up with several big time action films throughout 2013 (Hansel and Gretel: Vampire Hunters, GI Joe 2, Start Trek 2 and World War Z).

          I am not saying moving GI Joe 2 a month before its release date makes crystal clear sense, but if your $125 million movie is going to misfire, it might be worth losing a few million in marketing to stop the presses, regroup and take another run at giving the film a chance to succeed, and the best month to do that at its soonest is next March.

  • wow! Both people who want to see this movie have posted comments. That's a high percentage.

  • Aaron says:

    Battleship is awesome movie, I did enjoyed it lot. You peoples keep says bad things about lot of movies. Yeah, I am not happy about G.I.JOE 2 either. Stop says bad things about any kind of movies, period!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Max Renn says:

    You know things are desperate when Men in Black 3 is thrown out there as a savior of 3D movies.

  • In other words, "The studio thinks the movie is crap so they are going to convert it to 3-D in order to inflate ticket sales in the hope that it limps into the 'criticis didn't declare it dead-like-john-carter' zone."

    I may wait for the DvD.

  • I have to wait another year?! Forget 3D.

  • Grace says:

    Enjoyed every bit of your article.Really thank you! Want more.

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