BREAKING… Universal just announced that it is moving The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner off its August 3rd release date to August 10 to get out of the way of both Sony’s Total Recall and Warner Bros/Legendary’s The Dark Knight Rises. In addition, the studio says it also wants to take advantage of an extra week of London Summer Olympics promotion. But the studio insists this move has “nothing” to do with some recent reshoots starring Renner who’s introducing a new character in what used to be Matt Damon’s signature action franchise. Deadline learned that, with less than two months until its release according to crew sheets, the pic reshoots went from June 8th to 14th in Vancouver. Director Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplays for the first three Bourne films and this one, wasn’t on location. But second unit director and stunt coordinator Dan Bradley was helming the reshoots which Universal keeps insisting were merely “two days of pickups. There was one shot that we needed to get. It was a beat. It was nothing.” Bradley was also a second unit director and stunt coordinator on 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum.
Word is screenings have gone very well for the reworked fourth film in the hugely successful espionage franchise that has earned almost $1B at the
global box office. But this is the first pic not starring Damon as Jason Bourne so there is understandable anxiety within Universal about the pic’s prospects. Renner plays CIA agent Aaron Cross in the film, which also stars Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz. Today’s announcement reflects what my insiders say is primarily a response to exhibitor complaints about The Bourne Legacy and Total Recall releasing on the same August 3rd date. “Exhibition has been lamenting for a while that it doesn’t make any sense,” an exec tells me. Moving to August 10th also gives The Bourne Legacy an extra week to get out from the under the tsunami effect of The Dark Knight Rises which should perform like The Avengers already did in May. Uni’s Battleship almost sunk as a result. “Look what happened with Avengers,” an exec reminds me. “One extra week makes a world of sense.”
In addition, NBCUniversal with all its Comcast subsidiaries and synergies is televising the London Olympics. So the movie studio thought it more strategic “to take advantage of a second week of inventory” for The Bourne Legacy.
Here is Universal’s official explanation:
“Just as The Avengers demonstrated marketplace sustainability that well outpaced traditional patterns earlier this summer, the industry expects a similar trajectory for The Dark Knight Rises. Moving one week further from its release will give The Bourne Legacy an even greater opportunity to maximize its opening box office potential. Moving to August 10 will also allow us to extend valuable promotion for the film across all NBCUniversal platforms during the Olympics, which will dominate television and digital audiences beginning July 27. We are excited about this new chapter in our Bourne franchise and confident that August 10 is the right date for our film and for our industry as a whole.”