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The official reason Paramount Pictures gave last week for moving G.I. Joe: Retaliation from its original June 29 release date to March 2013 was to allow plenty of time for 3D conversion. But more skeptical Hollywood watchers think there’s more going on. Sure, the studio can charge more for 3D tickets, but plenty of outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, think there’s more to this story.
The trade site offers two alternate explanations: The first contends that, after not doing well with Battleship or The Dictator, the studio might’ve been skittish about going up against Columbia Pictures’ The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens July 3 and would have given Retaliation only four days to get a foothold. The second revolves around Channing Tatum’s involvement. THR says his Duke character was originally going to die in the film, but Paramount is now supposedly trying to figure out ways to get him back in.
This whole process is a bit baffling, to say the least. It’s understandable that Paramount is nervous after not doing so well this year, but there must have been something really worrying the studio to essentially waste all the money on promotion. Something also has to be said about the good will the film earned by actually looking kind of awesome, which might dissipate if the studio decides to tinker too much with the final product.