Fox pushes crime pic bow at the last minute

Besson production 'Transport'-ed to October

Eight days before its scheduled release, 20th Century Fox has pushed back the opening of its crime-actioner “The Transporter” to Oct. 11.

The studio also postponed Monday’s world premiere at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

Unusually late shift places the pic, produced by Luc Besson’s Europa Corp., into an already crowded weekend that includes debuts of Dimension’s “Below,” Fox Searchlight’s “Brown Sugar,” New Line’s “Knockaround Guys,” Miramax’s “Pokemon 4Ever,” Disney’s “Tuck Everlasting” and Premiere’s “Who’s Your Daddy.” The Sept. 13 weekend now will see openers only for MGM’s “Barbershop” and Columbia’s “Stealing Harvard.”

Pic, lensed late last year in Paris and Marseilles, is toplined by Brit thesp Jason Statham (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) as a professional courier. Current promo campaign depicts a nattily attired Statham firing pistols with a tagline proclaiming that “rules are made to be broken.”

Fox distrib prexy Bruce Snyder said an initial screening for some distribs went well, but the studio wants more time to build pic awareness with prospective moviegoers.

“We just got the picture last week, (and) we realized we needed more time to screen the picture more,” Snyder explained.

Fox hopes to unspool “Transporter” in about 2,500 theaters.

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