F&*% No, G.I. Joe!

As a journalist, I don’t do this very often, but let’s do a little math. Yesterday, November 3, summer flop Year One was released on DVD. The movie initially hit theaters on June 19. Days elapsed = 156.

Also out on DVD yesterday was action flick G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. That movie didn’t come out in theaters until August 7. Days elapsed = 89. And I think some second-run theaters are still showing it …

Now let’s pretend you’re me, someone who thought “G.I. Joe” looked cool but would probably not be good or at least not be worth seeing in theaters. If you were on the fence about going to see it in theaters back in August and you knew it would be on DVD less than three months later, would you go? F@*% no.


Shame on you, “G.I. Joe” and Paramount. In the age of $10 movie tickets across the country, how dare you break the unspoken 156-day minimum window and cause a scare among theater chains nationwide. Theaters aren’t happy about charging double digits for ticket prices; it hurts them, but they have to.

Now, Paramount has the balls to put a super early DVD release on a big-budget summer movie that was released in August, a month when theater attendance drops off as it is. For those not following, the sooner a DVD comes out, the more likely someone is going to not pay to see it in theaters. It’s a dangerous precedent and I’m sure Paramount’s decision caused a few industry spats.

I get it – DVD sales are a big part of the money on a film, especially one with a $170 million budget. It made $300 M worldwide, but that’s nothing compared to similar films released this summer like the $800+ million for “Transformers 2.” 156 days would put the disc out in January, which is only the time for gift card purchases, but if they just held off until Christmas, that would be better. That I could understand.

I’ll admit I might not be as annoyed if this was District 9, another – and better – August release, but I can’t say I’d go out and buy it right away on that precedent alone.

All we can do now is hope “G.I. Joe” stays an exception and doesn’t change the rule.


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