Inside Move: Long, hot summer for pix

Tentpoles going to greater lengths in '03

Unless you’re in the babysitting or parking meter business, the long running times of many movies this summer are a bit perplexing.

The latest dynamic duo of lengthy offerings is “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Bad Boys II,” each of which exceeds 2 hours, 20 minutes. Already this summer, “The Hulk,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and “X2” have stretched past 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced both “Bad Boys II” and “Pirates,” is no stranger to languor. His three-hour “Pearl Harbor” in 2001 was the second-longest summer title ever. And his “Con Air,” “Armageddon” and “The Rock” were all at least 2:15. (The common denominator, it seems, is director Michael Bay.)

The old saw about running times curtailing grosses is not as applicable in today’s megaplex environment. But it may not be an accident that nimbler fare like “Finding Nemo” (100 mins.) or “Bruce Almighty” (101 mins.) has prevailed of late.

And at least Hollywood is trying something new. Last year at this time, B.O. observers were fixating on the brevity of summer fare like “Men in Black II” (88 mins.) and “Scooby-Doo” (86 mins.).

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