Warner Bros. has pushed the release date of the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending from July 18th of this year all the way to February 6th, 2015. Word is that the film needs more effects work. Within minutes the internet was throwing up its collective hands and chanting, “Game over, man! Game over!” eager to write it off and proclaim, “Disaster!”
Yes, it’s late in the game to notice the special effects could be improved but if improvements can indeed be made then I’m all for waiting a few months to give Lana and Andy Wachowski time to get it right. If the movie isn’t where it needs to be then I don’t need to see it yet. People make funny faces at February release dates, but a February release for Shutter Island was the slot where Scorsese scored his biggest opening ever and that film went on to bank $300 million worldwide. In fact Shutter Island earned more domestically than The Wolf of Wall Street, so laugh at Paramount’s decision all you want — it was a smart move. This year The LEGO Movie opened on the embarrassing date of Feb 7th and, hahaha, it only earned $462 million so far, hahaha. What a disaster!
This summer has been weak at the box-office and packed slates are brutal on tent poles that rely on opening weekend numbers to live or die. Last month was the slowest May at the multiplex since 2010. The July 18 premiere would have sandwiched Jupiter Ascending exactly halfway between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy and put Jupiter nose to nose with Hercules. Everyone likes a good circle jerk but I can’t blame Warners and the Wachowskis for wanting a little extra elbow room and more than one weekend to shoot their wad.
Meanwhile, I love watching everybody panic and throw Jupiter Ascending under the bus. I remember the very same jackals howling when Gravity was pushed back 11 months from it’s original November 2012 slot to October 2013.
Here’s an actual comment from the archives, May 15, 2012.
If this movie has been pushed out of 2012 then the studio doesn’t think it’s award-worthy and they want to throw it out there where no one will notice. One good thing is, this version probably didn’t cost the $80M the original was budgeted at. Bullock’s salary is no where near Angelina so that probably saved $15M and Robert Downey dropped out so that saved another $15. So, I think the studio is willing to let this thing die quietly. Personally, I think it sounded pretty awful from the beginning. No wonder Angelina chose “Maleficent” over this thing.
That’s right, geniuses. Keep cackling.