Jupiter Ascending Delayed Until Next Year
Curious to see Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum team up in the upcoming sci-fi epic "Jupiter Ascending"? Unfortunately, you'll have to keep waiting for a few more months as the film has been abruptly pushed back. The movie was set to be released in July — little more than six weeks from now, but has been delayed until February 2015.
The brainchild of the Wachowskis (the team behind "The Matrix" trilogy), the film follows Kunis as a down-on-her-luck human janitor named Jupiter Jones who is escorted to a faraway planet by an elf-eared alien bounty hunter (played by Tatum). Once there, she learns that she is actually a princess who is the true heir to Earth. She must then battle the reigning Queen of the Universe and the rest of the alien royalty, who plan to harvest earth and kill Jupiter in order to stop her from inheriting the throne. It's an extremely fantasy-heavy premise that might be difficult for the masses to embrace.
Warner Brothers has explained that the decision to delay the film's opening was made because the film's visual effects need to be overhauled. It has been reported that over $150 million worth of special effects will need to be added to the movie before it's ready to hit theaters. However, this may not be their only motivation. Footage from the first trailer sparked rumors that the film would underperform at the box office, especially considering its massive budget. Many speculators are also pointing to the fact that the release date was moved to February in particular as a sign that the higher-ups are nervous about the film's performance. Summer is generally the time for huge box-office hits, while February is the month in which all of the studios dump the films that weren't good enough for the end-of-the-year Oscars rush.
However, there are contrary examples to these rules, as evidenced by Warner Bros' release of the highly anticipated "Lego Movie" last February. It went on to receive excellent critical buzz and gross over $461 million worldwide. Similarly, "G.I Joe: Retaliation" and "World War Z" were both pushed back from summer openings to late winter ones, and still went on to be global hits. "World War Z" in particular is a Cinderella story, as it was plagued with every production problem under the sun, including an eleventh-hour rewrite of the third act. So, "Jupiter Ascending"'s move isn't necessarily a kiss of death. It might, in fact, be the right move for this relatively risky film to debut at a time when there's less competition for ticket sales from sci-fi films that are already part of well-established franchises.