The release of G.I. Joe : Retaliation – a sequel to the film based on the military toy – has been delayed until March 2013. Hasbro stated that this was so that the movie could become a 3D release. 3D movies command higher ticket prices and this should ensure greater box office takings.
The film was scheduled for release on 29 June 2012 in the USA; that has now been delayed until 29 March 2012.
Some film fans, however, suggest whether the real reason is because Battleship – another toy based movie from Hasbro’s arsenal – received negative reviews and disappointing ticket sales. The sequel’s film-makers now have an opportunity to take on board lessons learnt from the sinking of Battleship, and deploy new tatics when they return to face hostile critics.
In a dictat to retailers, all spin-off toy merchandise has been ordered to return to base by Hasbro. Although the products were to be kept top secret and under guard until 1 May, there have been reports that branches of Walmart, Toys R Us and Target jumped-the-gun and placed stock on the shelves before the official release date.
Hasbro stated on Friday: “G.I. Joe is an ongoing consumer franchise and
therefore there is merchandise available to consumers. There is a limited amount of ‘G.I. Joe Retaliation’ product at retail now, but in light of the movie moving out to March 29, 2013, the majority of the movie line will be made available early next year in time for the film’s release.”
Big retailers plan space and place orders well in advance. So, not only has a gap been left in the toy aisles of some the USA’s biggest stores but companies will be looking at a potential hole blasted through their sales figures. It will be interesting to see what concessions Hasbro will make to retailers; after-all, some would have seen new G.I. Joe toys as strategic part of their action figures range during this year’s summer campaign.