Summit shifts vampire romance to Nov. 21

Summit Entertainment has pushed up the release date of its highly anticipated vampire pic “Twilight” to Nov. 21, taking advantage of the B.O. opening left after Warner Bros. opted to move “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to July.

The vampire romance, based on the first of four bestselling novels by Stephenie Meyer, had been skedded to open Dec. 12 opposite 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi remake “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” starring Keanu Reeves. After WB confirmed its “Harry Potter” shift Thursday, Summit rushed to move “Twilight” into holiday primetime.

“With a giant franchise like ‘Harry Potter’ in the market, we had to stay clear of it,” said Summit Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Rob Friedman. “Their move created an opportunity to bring the movie three weeks earlier to fans, who have continued to show their enthusiasm, from Comic-Con to the giant ‘Breaking Dawn’ book sales. We felt we had to take that opportunity.”

While the “Twilight” books have not sold on the level of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, many observers have made the comparison between the two fantasy series and their passionate devotees. The “Twilight” books fall in the young-adult realm and boast a strong femme following. Pic adaptation has been generating strong Internet buzz for months.

British actor Robert Pattinson (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”)co-stars with Kristen Stewart in the romantic thriller directed by Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen”) from a script by Melissa Rosenberg (“Step Up”). Karen Rosenfelt, Greg Mooradian and Wyck Godfrey produce along with Mark Morgan via his Maverick Films banner.

Summit plans a wide release in more 3,000 theaters, Friedman said.

“Twilight” will face competition from Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film “Bolt,” which moved from Nov. 26 to Nov. 21.

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