Every year studios tend to overestimate their tentpoles and then end up delaying them a year or more. 2013 saw an unprecedented amount of blockbusters originally slated for 2012 get pushed back six months off their originally intended bow: “The Great Gatsby,” “World War Z,” “Man Of Steel,” “Jack The Giant Slayer,” the list goes on (we took a deeper look at these films earlier in the year, see “The Delayed Films Of 2013: Why They Were Pushed Back & Which Ones Will You Be Seeing?“). The latest casualty is Warner Bros. “300: Rise Of An Empire,” and it’s easy to see why.
Three months away from release, buzz on ‘Rise Of An Empire’ is fairly low and its awareness rating is probably not doing much better. Coupled with the fact that WB isn’t having their best year (a string of bombs and underperformers including “Jack the Giant Slayer,” “Beautiful Creatures,” “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone“), the studio is probably thinking it’s best to hit pause and regroup with a better game plan next year. So THR reports that “300: Rise Of An Empire” is moving from its current August 2nd date to March 7, 2014. While the “300” brand does have leverage, it probably doesn’t help that its leads, Eva Green, Rodrigo Santoro and Sullivan Stapleton aren’t exactly blockbuster-known household names.
A domino effect always occurs with a major shuffle like this and so WB is now moving the Tom Cruise sci-fi vehicle “All You Need Is Kill,” from its March 7, 2014 slot to June 6, 2014; directly in the heart of the summer. The tentpole is directed by Doug Liman and co-stars Emily Blunt.
Other recent release dates of note include, for one, the sequel to “21 Jump Street.” Now that “Jurassic Park 4,” has been delayed indefinitely, Sony Pictures has jumped in and slotted “21 Jump Street 2” (“22 Jump Street“?) for the now vacant June, 13, 2014 release date. Sony has also taken their remake of “Popeye” off the schedule. Once dated for September 26, 2014, the film has now been moved to a TBD 2015 release.
CBS Films must be feeling high about their teen comedy, “The To-Do List” starring Aubrey Plaza. It’s moving off its safer August 16 release date onto a bolder July 27 bow. That’s right in the heart of summer tentpole season, but they obviously feel like they have a funny counter programmer on their hands.