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Inside Moves

'Moon' walks to Dec. 25

Citing positive test-screening reactions and a desire to position the film for Oscar consideration, Universal Pictures has moved “Man On the Moon,” its Jim Carrey-starring biopic of Andy Kaufman, from a Nov. 5 bow to a Dec. 25 wide release.

U also confirmed that it had moved “The Bone Collector,” starring Denzel Washington and directed by Phillip Noyce, into that Nov. 5 slot. “Bone Collector” had been slated for Oct. 1.

Universal brass said they decided to move the Milos Forman-helmed “Man on the Moon” to a Christmas berth after test screenings and press previews of a newly re-cut version received high marks.

While the dark tones of the biopic travels against the tide of traditional Carrey comic fare, U now feels bolstered by feedback that the pic is a mainstream, commercial entry, for which they will heavily support as an Oscar contender, particularly for Carrey.

Normally Christmas is an attractive time to release films for both critical attention and to heavy box office, but this millennial holiday season has some observers scared that auds’ attention may be drawn elsewhere by druid-like celebrations and Y2K paranoia.

U prexy of distribution Nikki Rocco said she isn’t worried: “I feel more people actually will be staying home around that time. And we feel we have one powerful, incredible film and think there will be a ton of business for this film when it opens on Christmas Day.”

Among the pics that the U/Mutual Films co-production, “Man On the Moon,” is expected to open against on Christmas are Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” starring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow for Paramount/Miramax; Diane Keaton’s Meg Ryan starrer “Hanging Up” from Columbia; and Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday” from Warner Bros.

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