Citing the need to finish extensive special effects, Warner Bros. has delayed the Andy and Lana Wachowski movie “Jupiter Ascending” from July 18 to Feb. 6, 2015.
The decision came less than seven weeks before the sci-fier was due to open. Domestic distribution chief Dan Fellman said that the Wachowskis needed more time to complete their work on more than 2,000 special effects shots in the film.
“With the July release date, they were just not going to make it on time,” he added. “A lot of the issue for us was getting it ready for the international release, since the foreign territories need additional time.”
Fellman also said noted that “Jupiter Ascending” would now open on the same weekend that Warner Bros. used for “The Lego Movie” this year. The exec said that the sci-fier had been shown in rough form at test screenings.
Fellman also noted that both “Lego” and Disney/Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which opened in early April, had delivered strong results outside the traditional tentpole corridors. “Lego” grossed $460 million worldwide and “Winter Soldier” has topped $700 million.
Channing Tatum (pictured above), Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Sean Bean are starring. The Wachowskis produced and directed from their own script.
The story, set at a time when humans are at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder, follows a woman targeted for assassination by the queen of the universe.
Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow co-financed “Jupiter Ascending,” which has a price tag of $150 million project.
The studio’s seen a mixed summer so far with “Godzilla” performing well but Adam Sandler’s “Blended” delivering unimpressive results. Warners faces uncertain prospects for this weekend’s launch of Tom Cruise’s “Edge of Tomorrow”; its other summer entries are Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” on June 20, Melissa McCarthy’s roadtrip comedy “Tammy” on July 2 and disaster-actioner “Into the Storm” on Aug. 8.
To make room for “Jupiter Ascending” on the 2015 date, Warner Bros. pulled actioner “Run All Night,” starring Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnamon, off the date. The studio said only that it would release “Run” at some point in 2015.
“Jupiter Ascending” will open against Lionsgate’s “Mortdecai,” starring Johnny Depp, and Universal’s “Seventh Son,” starring Jeff Bridges. “Seventh Son,” produced and financed by Legendary Entertainment, was delayed three times by Warner Bros. before its co-financing deal with Legendary lapsed last year.
“Jupiter Ascending” was originally dated by Warner Bros. for July more than a year ago.
The departure of “Jupiter Ascending” leaves three major titles opening on July 18 — Sony’s comedy “Sex Tape,” Disney’s family cartoon “Planes: Fire and Rescue” and Universal’s horror sequel “The Purge: Anarchy.”
The Wachowskis produced and directed “The Matrix” trilogy for Warner Bros. with the three films grossing over $1.6 billion, followed by the underperforming “Speed Racer” with $93 million in worldwide grosses in 2008. They produced and co-directed “Cloud Atlas,” which was financed independently and grossed $130 million worldwide in 2012.