Valentine’s Day Will Have to Soldier On Without ‘This Means War,’ Film Pushed to Friday

By  · Published on February 7th, 2012

It looks like your Valentine’s Day movie-going options might now be limited to The Vow, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Safe House, and maybe Rampart if you and your significant other are feeling particularly punchy, as Fox has reportedly ditched their plan to open McG’s This Means War on the 14th (next Tuesday). Deadline Springwood reports that the studio “hasn’t seen the pic’s poor tracking pick up at all in recent days,” pushing the studio to move the picture back to a wide release date on Friday the 17th, though there will be some sneak peeks sticking around on the 14th.

What’s the issue? Well, oddly enough, Nikki Finke herself doesn’t seem to get it – her exclusive post on the matter includes lines like “I don’t get what the moviegoing public’s problem with this pic is: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon are just as cool casting as Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams” and “the film didn’t look dumb (and that’s is half the battle with this genre).”

Clearly, Finke’s got a short memory on this one – the film went through a protracted cycle of casting, with names like Sam Worthington, Seth Rogen, and Bradley Cooper all getting bandied about before Hardy and Pine finally signed on for the flick (for some, frankly, pretty strange casting – Pine is set as the smooth operator and Hardy is the good boy), and the film was lensed back in 2010. Does the moviegoing public really care about stuff like that? Typically, I’d say no, but Fox’s decision to push the film signals a lack of confidence in the picture that’s, at the very least, interesting to think about. We’ll just have to see how those weekend box office numbers shake out.