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Throughout last year, the Wachowskis were building a solid head of buzz with the production of their latest film, Jupiter Ascending. Right from the initial synopsis, the film's proposed tale of Mila Kunis' destined for interstellar royalty sounded like something that only the writing/directing siblings could properly bring to the big screen. Words aren't as effective as pictures though, and when the first trailer for the film last fall, the excitement was even more palpable. Flash forward to now, almost a month before the film's planned release date, and the excitement has... suddenly been dashed into a million pieces. For those of you who couldn't wait to see Channing Tatum as an alien badass, you're going to have to wait a little while longer.
Variety is the bearer of bad news, stating that the film has been pushed back due to specific concerns that the film would not be ready for its July 18th release date. More specifically, at least according to Warner Brothers domestic distribution chief, Dan Fellman, the two big issues were the film's visual effects, as well as having the film ready for international distribution. Fellman was also pleased to point out that the film's new release date of February 6th, 2015 is similar to that of the highest grossing film of 2014 so far, The LEGO Movie. Sadly, it's also close to Valentine's Day, which was the day Winter's Tale opened to a deafening thud in theaters. Basically, this could go either way.
I don't care what the studio's official statement says, the visual effects aren't Warner Bros.' main concern, and Variety even backs me up. Their piece mentions how their success with The LEGO Movie and Godzilla has been tempered by both Blended's disastrous box office launch, as well as the impending uneasy release (and to some, implosion) of Edge of Tomorrow. The studio is at dead even when it comes to their hit/miss ratio this year, and Jupiter Ascending has always looked destined to be the little flop that could with its previous release date - especially when Universal made the biggest move of their summer by moving The Purge: Anarchy into the same weekend. While I'm as disappointed as a Wachowskis fan that Jupiter Ascending has been pushed back, I am pleased that Warner Brothers is giving the film a shot to be a real success.
It used to be that you only moved your movie's release date this late in the game because of a crisis of faith. However, with studios becoming bolder and bolder with their outer tentpole releases, any time of year now is a good time for a hit. You just need to stake out a weekend that isn't that crowded, and that's what Warner Bros. has done with Jupiter Ascending. The studio and the Wachowskis have been good business partners since their initial success with The Matrix trilogy, and this move only shows that the studio stands by their partners; while also wanting to play the market a little better.
So now you can look for Jupiter Ascending in theaters on February 6th, 2015. Just a week before Valentine's day, the film has plenty for everyone to look forward to with equal parts Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, and science fiction adventure.