The Bourne Legacy has retreated from what was sure to be one of the bloodiest battles of the summer as it was poised to open against Total Recall.
Universal Pictures said on Friday it is pushing back the release of its new instalment in the spy franchise, this one starring Jeremy Renner, by one week. It was supposed to open on August 3 in the US, the same date as Sony’s remake of the science-fiction story Total Recall.
Both are action films aimed at a primarily male audience and were likely cut into each others’ audiences, depressing the opening weekend tally for both. Universal was the first to date its release, picking the August 3 date for The Bourne Legacy in October 2010. Sony moved Recall, starring Colin Farrell, onto the date roughly four months later.
Those people said Sony and Universal each thought that its own movie was poised to perform better than its competitor’s based on pre-release research. As a result, both were waiting for the other to shift the opening date.
A Universal spokeswoman said in an email the studio made the move in order to be further out from the July 20 opening of Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises, which is expected to be a blockbuster hit. In addition, she noted that the later date will allow the studio’s sibling NBC Universal networks to promote The Bourne Legacy more during the Olympics.
Whatever the motivation, Universal’s decision is sure to improve the opening weekend performance of both films. On Bourne’s new date it will compete against two comedies, Hope Springs and The Candidate, leaving it as the only event film.
Recall will open against Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.