According to a recent L.A. Times article, Paramount has already spent $325 million on "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."
With a production budget of $175 million and $150 million more in marketing and distribution expenses on the line, "G.I. Joe" needs the biggest possible crowds to turn a profit.Umm, yeah, no shit and isn't this movie tracking terribly? Not so. It might look mediocre to critics, but apparently it's tracking well with male audiences (duh).
Apparently Paramount is also largely aware that the film is not tracking well with the Blue State intelligentsia and has taken to America's heartland to market the picture via good ol' American
Evidently they'll be a big presence of "G.I. Joe" on the Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd concert tour that's being advertised on CMT.
"Our starting point for this movie is not Hollywood and Manhattan but rather mid-America," Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore told LAT. "There are a group of people we think are going to respond to the movie who are normally not the first priority. But we're making them a priority."
That's some pretty canny thinking and it could just work. Getting the same pleebs that voted for GWB to watch this thing? Seems like a good fight, but doesn't that mean they should have more American flags in the trailers, posters and marketing? (like this image from the comics we found).
Although the action-packedness of the film will inevitably play big overseas, the studio is making sure traces of rah-rah Americanisms have vanished from the advertising. Again, smart move.
"G.I. Joe" is due in theaters this Friday, yet no journalists have seen it yet, except for easy geek lay Harry Knowles from AICN, who liked it so much he wants to see it again. He's usually an easy, early slam dunk as long as you're letting him know he's seeing the movie first and therefore kissing his ass and treating him like royalty (but this is a calculated move that's been done more than once and the studios know he's easy prey with a big audience). Sample Knowles quote: "But ya know what? It is a G.I. JOE movie and it was pretty damn cool!" Genius.
It's a pretty fascinating LAT article and you should give it a whirl. PS: there's some crit speculation out there that "G.I. Joe" will not be screened for regular critics at all, which, wow. For a film that big, that's really saying something. Then again, we don't know if this is true, but we're still waiting to hear back from Paramount.