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Why 'Jupiter Ascending' Really Got Pushed (TRAILER)

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by Anne Thompson
June 9, 2014 1:06 PM
19 Comments
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Mila Kunis in 'Jupiter Ascending'

Want to know the real reason why Warner Bros. is pushing back "Matrix" creators Andy and Lana Wachowski's “Jupiter Ascending,” starring Mila Kunis and a puckish Channing Tatum, from summer-season July 18 to off-peak Feb. 6, 2015? It's not only the recent studio trend to invest more time and money in already expensive would-be tentpoles rather than risk not pleasing audiences. Sure, the Wachowskis --whose ambitious and partly self-financed last effort with Tom Tykwer, "Cloud Atlas," was a dud at the global box office, topping out at $126 million worldwide-- could use more time to tinker with editing and VFX. That's the official reason behind the move.

Channing Taum and Mila Kunis in the Wachowskis' 'Jupiter Ascending'

It's also that Warners doesn't want to gamble on two potential losses in the same quarter. Heading toward the opening weekend for Doug Liman's brainy $178-million Tom Cruise-starrer "Edge of Tomorrow," the studio was already worried about its weak tracking. Sure enough, the movie opened well behind "The Fault in Our Stars" and so far has logged only $29 million domestic and $111 million foreign. 

Too late to pull the Cruise vehicle from the summer lineup, Warners opted to postpone the box office reckoning on "Jupiter Ascending" to the first quarter, when there's both more wriggle room in the marketplace and lower expectations. The competition: Johnny Depp heist thriller "Mortdecai," Legendary's long-delayed "Seventh Son," starring Jeff Bridges, which looks execrable and is opening a year late, and "SpongeBob SquarePants 2."

Check the trailer below: you can see what Warners is dealing with. This is yet another otherworldly sci-fi space epic with overwrought costumes, sets and space ships, fast-moving nasty alien critters and explosive air battles, and an evil overlord (Eddie Redmayne) seeking to vanquish the universe. (This has roots in everything from "Buck Rogers" to "Star Wars.")

While we have a strong Earth-bound everywoman heroine (Kunis), she is really a princess--traced for extermination by her faraway alien nemesis--and is rescued by her hero knight, Caine (Tatum). Some things never change. 

19 Comments

  • Forest | June 14, 2014 6:29 PMReply

    It Actually looks damn good. The studio's that is pushing this back are fools.

  • danos | June 11, 2014 7:33 AMReply

    So many missed opportunities...!!
    If the filmmakers hadn't lost all sense of originality and creativity as they seem to have, proven by the plot, they could have at least made it fresh by cleverly swapping Mila's role with Channing's.
    Making her the bad ass and dispassionate soldier (totally wooden acting anyway) and giving Channing an interesting action oriented yet comedic role which he's actually great at (21 Jump street).
    Or making them both soldiers from different conflicting planets after the same thing (and of course end up falling for each other) or the same planet but different political interests.
    I find making Mila the Princess McGuffin so bland and Disney-esque...! Any one agree or disagree, love to hear what you think.

  • Nick Name | June 10, 2014 4:01 PMReply

    I dunno, it looks like it could be fun in a mindless sort of way. It's certainly visually imaginative.

  • The Artful Dodger | June 9, 2014 10:27 PMReply

    It is also an accounting issue -- it makes sense to spread the losses over two years so the 2014 results don't seem so bad...

  • Joseph Angier | June 9, 2014 8:33 PMReply

    BTW, As long as the filmmakers were inventing "strange, new worlds" to show us, couldn't they have reinvented a princess costume? It was a vaguely amusing gag when Carrie Fisher wore one, but the bright minds of filmmaking have had 37 years since then to rethink the idea.

  • Joseph Angier | June 9, 2014 8:29 PMReply

    I find it very comforting to watch a coming attraction and know that every single shot is something I've seen several times before.

  • Brian Winiarski | June 9, 2014 7:59 PMReply

    It seems like it might be an interesting movie to me. Whether a movie is considered a flop or a blockbuster hit says more about the decreasing intelligence of our' facebook and smartphone obssed society than the quality of the movie.

  • Brian Winiarski | June 9, 2014 8:01 PM

    obsessed

  • A Guy from Spain | June 9, 2014 7:29 PMReply

    Nope. Maybe three or four weeks ago, they were filming some new scenes in Bilbao, País Vasco, for product placement (I think). This is the real reason.

  • John | June 9, 2014 5:38 PMReply

    Studios need to quit making movies based on reading Ain't It Cool News.

  • alp | June 9, 2014 5:28 PMReply

    Wow..that was unusually not good. 2 observations:

    1. Looks like "Cloud Atlas 2".
    2. Actors look expressionless and bored.

    just my anonymous internet opinion. bye!

  • Daniella Isaacs | June 9, 2014 4:09 PMReply

    If you think the first sentence was a run-on, buddy, don't go back to grad school.

  • John | June 9, 2014 5:38 PM

    Actually, "creators" should be possessive -- creators'.

  • John | June 9, 2014 5:37 PM

    It's a perfectly decent, grammatically correct, properly punctuated, journalistic sentence.

  • James M. | June 9, 2014 3:26 PMReply

    The real flop here is that opening run-on sentence. Oy!

  • Brian Winiarski | June 9, 2014 7:54 PM

    Read it again but slower and you may see that is is just a long sentence and not a run-on. Is Oy actually a word?

  • cory everett | June 9, 2014 3:12 PMReply

    Also: a flop makes less noise in February (and stands a better chance at being perceived as being a 'modest hit') than in the ultra-competitive Summer season.

  • Brian | June 9, 2014 2:46 PMReply

    I'm guessing Warner is wishing they'd switched the stars of these movies: Tatum in EDGE OF TOMORROW, to get the female audience that didn't show up, and Cruise in JUPITER ASCENDING, to add a little gravitas to the sillier story.

  • AIKO | June 10, 2014 6:05 PM

    EDGE OF TOMORROW was an excellent sci-fi blockbuster!

    It's a pity that the audience didn't show up. The marketing probably didn't help, basically leaving out to show how fun the movie actually it. BUT --- it's sad to see today's audience flock into theaters to watch yet another installment in the bland SPIDER-MAN reimaging, but choose to ignore EDGE OF TOMORROW. If Hollywood churns out reboot after reboot, sequel after sequel, spin-offs - it's the audience's fault.

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