Summer Surprise: ‘Jupiter Ascending’ moves to February 2015

To be frank, the buzz the past few months on Andy and Lana Wachowski's “Jupiter Ascending” has not been good.  So much so, that there was scuttlebutt it could be one of the bigger bombs of the summer.  Well, Warner Bros. appears to be giving the futuristic thriller new life.

In a major surprise, “Jupiter Ascending” landed a new release date of Feb. 6, 2015.  That's a little over six months past its original July 18, 2014 opening date.  Instead of going up against Universal Pictures' “The Purge: Anarchy,” Walt Disney Studios' “Planes: Fire and Rescue” or Sony Pictures' R-rated comedy, “Sex Tape,” the Sci-Fi flick will now take on Lionsgate's action comedy “Mortdecai” and the long delayed Legendary fantasy picture “Seventh Son.”  “Jupiter” will also avoid the second weekend of 20th Century Fox's “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” which could open bigger than its mighty predecessor, 2011's “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

Currently, Warner Bros. has the Liam Neeson action flick “Run All Night” on the same Feb. 6 date, but we'll assume it's also moving at this point.

Budgeted at a reported $150 million, “Ascending” centers on Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a woman who discovers she's in line to become the Queen of the Universe.  Channing Tatum plays Caine, a humanoid-like alien who protects her. 

In theory, WB is taking “Ascending” out of a more competitive holiday frame and giving it more time to find an audience in February.  We're not so sure going up against a Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow flick (“Mortdecai”) is really a better date, but it's clear the Wachowskis now have more time to edit and/or reshoot if they so desire (or if the studio desires).  It also allows the marketing team to come up with a much more compelling print campaign than the posters in the embedded gallery at the bottom of this post.

Today's news means the only Tatum film that will hit theaters this summer is “22 Jump Street” later this month.  He'll follow that up with the critically acclaimed “Foxcatcher” in November.  Kunis, who scored a rare leading role with “Jupiter,” doesn't have another live action film on tap until “Ted 2” next summer.