So, if Universal initially moving “47 Ronin” from November 21st to February 8, 2013 was a sign that they lacked faith in the flick, is this next manuever an indication they now, in fact, have big plans for it? You don’t hand out holiday dates to just anything, and the studio has now moved the Keanu Reeves-led film to Christmas Day 2013.
On the one hand, this movie wrapped a long, long time ago, but curiously, there have been zero official stills, posters or anything else. And with that February date six months away and still nothing, we suppose the writing was on the wall that it would be moved, but we didn’t expect this. Now having another year-long wait, it does give Universal the opportunity to get the word out and start a real campaign for the 3D movie, which is pretty ambitious as far as tentpole fare goes.
Outside of Reeves, the cast is mostly filled with lesser names (though Rinko Kikuchi will presumably have a larger profile after “Pacific Rim“). The Carl Erik Rinsch-directed film tells the story of the titular 47 warriors who, following the forced seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) of their master after he assaults a court official, seek revenge on those who caused his death. So yeah, a big-budget samurai flick. We fully expect Universal to build up the buzz, and an appearance at Comic-Con next summer seems like an inevitability at this point. It is certainly a good counter-programming slot as well, as so far, Ben Stiller‘s “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” and DreamWorks‘ “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” will be battling each other for family audiences.
Meanwhile in other updates: the studio has dated the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg actioner “2 Guns” — about a DEA agent and an undercover naval officer who investigate each other as each has been tasked to steal mob money — for August 16, 2013, where it should handily beat “Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters.” As for “Kick-Ass 2,” the sequel will arrive right in the heart of summer on June 28, 2013 where it will try to trump Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson‘s “The Internship” and more significantly, Channing Tatum‘s “White House Down” (or whatever it winds up being called).
Other adjustments: “R.I.P.D.” moves a month to July 19, 2013; “Jurassic Park 3D” now opens on April 5, 2013; and “Identity Thief” with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman nabs the old “47 Ronin” date of February 8, 2013. [Deadline]