G.I. Joe: Retaliation Moved To March 2013

If you were getting psyched up to see G.I. Joe: Retaliation, prepare for one of the biggest letdowns in summer blockbuster history. Deadline has just caught word that Paramount Pictures is pushing the film back nine months to March 29, 2013.

Who’s to blame? Everyone’s favorite annoying cousin, 3D conversion. Here’s what the Deadline source had to say:

“We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally … Jim Cameron did all of Titanic‘s 3D in post – and look how well that movie turned out.”

I don’t know if I’d compare a sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra to the second biggest movie in box-office history, but the key word is “internationally.” While 3D has cooled off fast in the U.S., it’s booming in countries such as Russia and China, and as the past year has shown (or even just Battleship, which credits foreign markets with nearly 90 percent of its current $245-million gross), the money to be made on big loud blockbusters is overseas.

Although extremely late in the game, especially when you consider the high degree of ad dollars Paramount has already sunk into promotion, the move makes sense in a lot of ways. For one, Deadline notes that when Paramount pushed Martin Scorsese‘s Shutter Island from October 2009 to February 2010, it made more money than any previous Scorsese film. As for why late March, we all witnessed how much The Hunger Games cashed in that very weekend this year, though again, a tough comparison to make.

As far as competition goes, G.I. Joe: Retaliation has swapped out having The Amazing Spider-Man nip on its heels just five days after its release to going head-to-head with the adaptation of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer‘s novel The Host, a much shorter order.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is directed by Jon M. Chu and stars Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis.