Universal Delays Bourne Legacy, Baldfacedly Admits It’s Because of The Avengers
Back when Paramount announced that it would be postponing the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation nine entire months, ostensibly to retrofit it with 3D and reshoot some scenes, we raised our eyebrows suspiciously. Hollywood is sort of reeling from the success of The Avengers, because while it means great things for Marvel Studios and everyone else involved in the production, it’s kind of sucking the life out of the rest of the summer blockbuster season.
See, the thing about The Avengers is not that it had a huge spike in attention, made a bunch of money, and then got out of the way for the next batch of action blockbusters. It’s sitting around, the 800 pound gorilla and the unexpected houseguest all in one. Which brings us to Universal’s press release on why they’ve delayed the latest installment of their highly successful Bourne franchise.
Just as The Avengers demonstrated marketplace sustainability that well outpaced traditional patterns earlier this summer, the industry expects a similar trajectory for The Dark Knight Rises [releasing July 20th]. Moving one week further from its release will give The Bourne Legacy [originally releasing August 3rd] an even greater opportunity to maximize its opening box office potential. Moving to August 10 will also allow us to extend valuable promotion for the film across all NBCUniversal platforms during the Olympics, which will dominate television and digital audiences beginning July 27. We are excited about this new chapter in our Bourne franchise and confident that August 10 is the right date for our film and for our industry as a whole.
So, straight from Universal Studios: movies in The Avengers‘ demographic space that might otherwise have opened #1 at the box office are taking the hit from consumers who are still choosing The Avengers over other movie fare. Just a few weeks ago I was perfectly in this boat: when given a choice between seeing Men in Black 3, which against all expectations was reviewing quite favorably, and seeing The Avengers again, I chose The Avengers.
Of course, aside from The Avengers and The Dark Knight, there is one more elephant in the room for Universal. And that’s Battleship, which, even though it premiered two weeks after The Avengers, still didn’t manage to pull anything like the numbers a big, explodey alien movie would have been projected to. Once bitten, twice shy, Universal is not going to be putting another of it’s assumed-guaranteed blockbusters out two weeks after a highly anticipated superhero movie.
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