MGM’s ‘Panther’ will prowl in fall

New date pits pic against Burton's 'Corpse Bride'

MGM’s summer will no longer be pink.

Studio moved back the release date of its “The Pink Panther” pic from July 22 to Sept. 23.

Prompting the move was Sony’s decision to shift “Mask of Zorro” off the September date, which in turn was a response to Pixar and Disney moving “Cars” to summer 2006. “Zorro” will now unspool Nov. 4, the date on which “Cars” was previously to bow.

“When there was movement on the date, we saw an opportunity to move our movie to the fall and own the weekend of Sept. 23,” said Chris McGurk, vice chairman and chief operating officer of MGM.

Before the switch, “Panther,” starring Steve Martin as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, a role created by Peter Sellers, would have faced off against DreamWorks’ Michael Bay tentpole “The Island” and New Line’s Vince Vaughn comedy “The Wedding Crashers.”

New date pits “Panther” against “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.”

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