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What's the future for Michael Bay-produced 'Welcome to Yesterday'?

Found-footage movies have had a mixed record lately, with the horror genre particularly taking its lumps.

Can a movie with that conceit and a time-travel premise break the streak?

We were all set to find out in a few weeks, on Feb. 28, exactly, with the release of "Welcome to Yesterday." But the film -- a movie with just that blend that's produced by Michael Bay's production company -- has been taken off that date for a new, as-yet undetermined one. 

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It's rare for a studio to pull a movie just three weeks before its release. Paramount had put out a trailer and shown the movie, which is complete, at industry screenings, where it has been warmly received. but things had not been moving apace for the marketing campaign -- a poster, for instance, had still not been released.

The film is  now likely to get a release in either the latter part of the summer or early fall, though Paramount will have to navigate around its August release of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and the new "Paranormal Activity" film in October.

"Yesterday" (formerly titled "Almanac") has a low-budget feel that relies on concept more than pedigree to attract audiences to theaters.  Though it does carry the Bay name, it's directed by South African newcomer Dean Israelite and includes upstart actors Jonny Weston, Sam Lerner and Allen Evangelista.  Savvy marketing of its high concept is a more likely path to success, as it was for the movie that kickstarted the found-footage frenzy,  "Paranormal Activity." 

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"Welcome to Yesterday" had originally been given a first-quarter date similar to "Chronicle," another coming-of-age genre-tinged movie that had a found-footage conceit. That film was a hit when it came out two years ago; this one is said to go lighter and contain more fun than that movie, which focused on superpowers and took a dark turn.

Paramount has struggled of late with two other movies it pushed back -- Tom Clancy adaptation "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and Jason Reitman drama "Labor Day," both of which underperformed. Delays don't always spell box-office doom, though. Paramount's own "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" was pushed from June 2012 to the following March and ended up grossing nearly $400 million worldwide.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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