At the 11th hour, Lana and Andy Wachowski's sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending is being pushed back from July 18, 2014 to February 6, 2015.
Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures did not give a reason for pulling the sci-fi epic from the summer schedule a mere seven weeks before its opening, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. reportedly wanted to allow more time to complete the special effects. The Feburary 6 release date would be the same weekend The Lego Movie debuted to incredible numbers for Warner Bros. just a year ago. Are they looking to try and replicate those grosses?
The film is a $150 million, galaxy-spanning epic that stars Mila Kunis as a janitor who finds out that she is actually a galactic princess destined to alter the fate of the universe, and Channing Tatum as the alien warrior who travels planets to save her.
Given its heavy price-tag as well as a considerable amount of bad buzz since its initial trailer, many industry insiders have predicted it would under-perform at the summer box office. All of this came just a couple of weeks after the release of a brand new international trailer for the film which presents a little more of the story as well as the world the Wachowski’s have created. With all the trailers, clips and promotion already out there for the film, were the studios hoping it would have been enough to prime audiences for what might be a confusing and muddy narrative?
This tactic of pushing a movie back has had some considerable success in the past. Paramount pushed back the release of World War Z, which went on to become a global blockbuster, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which went on to gross a healthy sum as well. The new date will now see the movie facing less stiff competition alongside another long-delayed film, The Seventh Son and the Johnny Depp film, Mortdecai.
Surely the movie has to be really weird to prompt this kind of last-minute decision for Warner to justify their decision and move a film directed by two individuals who are championed for their ability to do both expensive, major studio blockbusters and philosophically riddled zen action films.
You can also watch the official trailer released a couple of months ago. With a slew of clips and trailers, we’ll now have to wait eight months before seeing whether the Wachowski’s can deliver both a spectacular, visual world complete with impressive action set-pieces and a well-rounded, universal story that doesn’t pander to audiences of the lowest denominator.
Images: Warner Bros.