Paramount shuffles major releases

Paramount is pushing back the release of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” from Dec. 25 to May 8, 2009, saying the pic’s gross potential is greater as a summer tentpole.

Move was part of a major reshuffling to the studio’s release calendar, as well as to DreamWorks’ release sked. A second key change: DreamWorks’ 2008 Ben Stiller summer comedy “Tropic Thunder” is moving from July 11 to Aug. 15.

That’s likely to mean that another film will take “Tropic’s” old spot on July 11, particularly since there is such a dearth of broad comedies in the May-July stretch.

Like Par, many of the majors are likely to revisit their release skeds in the wake of the writers’ strike as they try to balance out their 2008 and 2009 calendars.

“Star Trek” has no competition in its new slot — at least not so far, although it opens one week after 20th Century Fox bows “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and one week before Sony is slated to bow sequel “Angels and Demons.”

Paramount also dated two titles. Martin Scorsese’s Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer “Shutter Island” will be released Oct. 2, 2009.

An untitled comedy produced by Marlon and Shawn Wayans will be released on Feb. 9, 2009. Their brother Damon Wayans is directing from a script the three co-wrote with two other family members. Par is keeping the logline under wraps.

Here are the other release changes to Par’s sked:

  • Eddie Murphy family pic “Nowhereland” is moving from Sept. 26, 2008, to June 12, 2009.

  • Renee Zellweger horror-thriller “Case 39″ is moving from Aug. 22, 2008, to April 10, 2009.

  • David Fincher’s Brad Pitt starrer “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is moving from Nov. 26, 2008, to Dec. 19, 2008.

In addition to the new date for “Tropic Thunder,” DreamWorks and Par announced that Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet “Revolutionary Road” will be distributed by Par Vantage, and not the studio proper.

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