May 31, 2012 01:23 PM EST

Channing Tatum Is The Real Reason Behind The G.I. Joe Delay

Channing Tatum Is The Real Reason Behind The G.I. Joe Delay
Are fans really so gullible to believe that the delayed release of GI Joe was due to some technical shortcomings of the film? Or has the studio done a quick back peddle after its test audiences balked at the lack of Tatum time in the film?

The reason given last week for the delay of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" was that it gave Paramount Studios an extra 9 months to give the film a proper 3D conversion. Now though, the real reason has been reported that Channing Tatum and his growing fan appeal have brought production to a halt.

Countdown to the release of G.I. Joe: The Retaliation, with the iPhone Movie Countdown Clock App.
It has been suggested that  the single worst kept secret of any film this year is that Tatum's Duke character, the main hero of the first film, gets killed at the start of 'Retaliation'. It seems the death occurs so quick that it did not go over well with test audiences, while Paramount only recently realized the power of  'The Tatum' and his rise to prominence in recent months. Their source says: 
"In our first screening of the film the reaction from audiences was good but with two big concerns: 1) They didn't like the fact that Channing and The Rock really didn't have any time to develop a friendship before Channing died, and 2) Why wasn't it going to be in 3D? We went back and shot another week with Channing to develop more of his story with The Rock, which made the film play much better. But we didn't have the time to be in 3D."
However,  it wasn't just the Tatum love that was the issue, there is also what some refer to as the 'Kitsch factor' - how big-budget disasters "Battleship" and "John Carter" would've been far worse had it not been for each film raking in $200 million worth of ticket revenue from international markets. Their source stated:
That ['Battleship' and 'John Carter' flopping domestically] was just a wake-up call that said to us we need to offer the best version of the film irrespective of summer market share to ensure the best possible performance. Not being in 3D will cost us a ton of business internationally."
Competition became another concern. On the one hand there was Steven Soderbergh's male stripper film, "Magic Mike", which also stars Channing Tatum, but in a larger and more revealing role. The source claims Paramount "didn't want uniformed Channing to compete with stripping Channing on the same weekend."
It was also suggested that Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" reboot opening a few days later also generated fear that the film simply couldn't compete.
However, with the delay, the biggest question now becomes one of cost. 'Retaliation' cost over $120 million and the studio claims that only a further $5 million will be spent on the conversion as all the extra time allows them to negotiate better deals with the companies doing the work.
 Whether the studio likes it or not, a delay of this magnatude is almost always seen as a negative.  In  prevoius years however, Paramount Studios has had big critical and/or commercial success with films that were delayed by at least four months from their originally intended release such as "Star Trek" and "Shutter Island". 


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