Twentieth Century Fox has called off what was the summer’s highest-profile head-to-head opening battle by pushing the release of “Fantastic Four” back a week to July 8.
That clears the Fourth of July holiday frame for Paramount and DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise collaboration “The War of the Worlds,” which made its first big marketing foray with a spot during the Super Bowl.
Remake of the sci-fi classic is set to bow Wednesday, June 29, giving it a six-day opening run through Independence Day on the following Monday.
“Fantastic Four” is now set to open against Sony’s “Bewitched,” starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, and Universal’s Kate Hudson suspenser “Skeleton Key.”
While Fox moved one of its summer tentpoles out of the way of “Worlds,” studio announced it would counterprogram the frame with “Roll Bounce,” an African-American coming-of-age story set in 1970s roller rinks. It bows July 1.
Moves were just a few of those announced Monday as the summer calendar continues to shuffle.
Sony has opted to take Jim Carrey/Tea Leoni remake of “Fun With Dick and Jane” out of the summer corridor and position it as a holiday comedy. Pic had been set to bow on June 24, but Sony now says it will unspool Dec. 21.
Sony vice chair Jeff Blake said the decision was driven by production schedule concerns, but studio also said it saw an opening for a broad comedy over the holidays.
“We had been rushing to make the date,” he said, “and to be honest, it looked tough.”
Not coincidentally, Dec. 21, a Wednesday, is the same date Universal opened laffer blockbuster “Meet the Fockers” this past holiday season. Also skedded for Dec. 21 are Warner Bros.’ Rob Reiner-helmed romantic comedy “Rumor Has It,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner, and U’s bigscreen musical adaptation “The Producers.”
“Dick and Jane” shift follows last week’s decision by Warners to move “Dukes of Hazzard” to June 24, the old “Dick and Jane” date, up from July 29. Also set for the June 24 frame is Disney’s “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”
In yet more Monday moves, New Line pushed up its laffer “The Wedding Crashers” to July 15 from July 22. Also opening that frame is Warner Bros.’ “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Paramount’s “The Honeymooners” and MGM’s “Into the Blue.”
Fox immediately pounced on July 22, skedding Martin Lawrence sports comedy “Rebound.” Also set to open that Friday is DreamWorks’ Michael Bay sci-fi pic “The Island.”
In addition, Fox moved “Fever Pitch” to “Rebound’s” old date of April 8. That’s a week earlier for the Farrelly brothers romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon.