As we head towards the end of the year, the next big epoch for movie going is the holiday Christmas season. Not many science fiction movies are generally released during this time of year, but today’s crop of pushed movie release dates affects one of 2014 most anticipated remakes, RoboCop.
According to Variety, Sony pushed the release date for the George Clooney-directed The Monuments Men, which was originally set for release on December 18th. The World War II heist film was pushed for a new release date on February 7th 2014 (as George Clooney put it, the film has the “Shutter Island slot.” In reference to Martin Scorsese’s 2010 release, which experienced a similar delay in release date). The Monuments Men has now taken over the spot originally held by José Padilha’s remake of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop. As a result, the cybernetic law enforcement officer will storm theaters a few days later on Wednesday, February 12th 2014.
This means RoboCop has virtually no competition, since it’s now opening on a Wednesday. However, opening that same weekend is the film adaptation of the widely popular young adult monster romance Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters based on Richelle Mead’s best-selling novels. It’s also Valentine’s Day weekend, and nothing says romance like going to see a watered-down version of RoboCop? You can bet that many boyfriends are going to be dragged to theaters to watch Vampire Academy, so that film might have an edge, despite RoboCop’s two-day lead in.
This isn’t the first time Sony has delayed RoboCop. Originally, the remake was supposed to be released at the end of this past summer, on August 9th, but the studio believed that they would have a bigger hit on their hands if they opened Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium on that date instead, so they pushed Padilha’s film back to February 7, 2014. While that film grossed $276.9 million worldwide, it wasn’t the massive success Sony expected.
RoboCop takes place in 2028, multinational conglomerate called OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology with drones that are winning wars around the globe. The company now wants to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman, The Killing), a loving husband, father, and honest cop in Detroit. After he is critically injured by a car bomb, OmniCorp utilizes their robotics technology to save Murphy’s life, and he is reborn as RoboCop.
Despite negative reactions to RoboCop’s first trailer, there are some surprisingly good early reviews of the film. Reports say that Padilha has captured Verhoeven’s vision for a dark, bleak future, but with an updated version, and with a PG-13 sensibility. We haven’t seen much on the promotion front since the teaser and the first poster, which makes the movie look like a silly parody rather than a serious action film. We’ll certainly see if the RoboCop remake is up to snuff when it’s finally released.
RoboCop stars Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, and Samuel L. Jackson.