Surprising news today: Paramount has decided to push G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s June 29th release date back a whole nine months. They’ve probably realized that in a summer filled with Avengers, bats and cats, and Ridley Scott’s aliens, their toy-based action film didn’t stand a chance. Or perhaps it was Battleship‘s box office failure that sent them into full panic mode. Either way, Retaliation will hit theaters in 2013 “for 3D conversion.”

According to Deadline, Paramount’s excuse for setting a new release date is because they want to convert the movie into 3D and do a good job at it. Apparently some of the execs there are impressed with what James Cameron was able to do with Titanic. The 3D conversion will supposedly help the movie do better overseas. Anyone else smell a bluff?

This actually comes as a very shocking surprise. Not only was the first G.I. Joe a hit (it made $300 million worldwide in 2009), but publicity for Retaliation has been in full swing for months now. We have posters, stills, trailers, etc. What this push says to fans and critics is that 3D is necessary in order to better the movie, and that without it, it’s just not good enough.

Also, why didn’t Paramount decide on 3D sooner? It’s not like 3D is a new trend. It should be obvious that this format makes more money. Tickets are $2–$3 more than regular 2D tickets. There’s something they’re not telling us.

Retaliation will hit theaters March 29, 2013.

What do you think? Are you bummed Retaliation got pushed back to 2013?