‘Holmes’ sets Christmas release date

Studios mark their calendar territory

With 2009 under way, the major studios are beginning to finalize their release calendars for the year.

The reshuffling began last month when Sony pushed back the release of Roland Emmerich’s tentpole “2012” from July 10 to Nov. 13.

On Wednesday, Warner Bros. said it was delaying the release of Guy Ritchie’s Robert Downey Jr.-Jude Law topliner “Sherlock Holmes” from Nov. 13 to Dec. 25.

“Sherlock” had been set to open Nov. 20, but then Summit Entertainment announced it would bow “Twilight” sequel “New Moon” on that date.

Christmas Day already is getting jammed up.

That’s when Sony moved up the release of Hugh Grant-Sarah Jessica Parker romantic comedy “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” to Dec. 18. Maneuver took “Morgans” out of the direct path of an untitled Nancy Meyers comedy that Universal is set to open Dec. 25.

Other pics already planting a flag on Christmas Day are Disney toon “The Princess and the Frog” and 20th Century Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.”

In terms of competition, “Sherlock Holmes” opens one week after Fox unspools James Cameron’s action-adventure “Avatar” in theaters.

The departure of Sony’s “2012” from July opened up a prime date. Universal was the first to pounce, moving back the release of Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” from May 15 to July 10.

Warner Bros. made a number of other additions and changes to its calendar, including giving the final “Harry Potter” pic a release date of July 15, 2011. The 2011 calendar is fairly wide open, save for the July 15 weekend, which already had been claimed by Marvel Entertainment/Paramount’s “The Avengers.”

Warners also fleshed out its 2010 release calendar, dating a number of projects, including “Green Lantern,” which debuts Dec. 17.

Robin Williams starrer “Couple of Dicks” — picked up in turnaround by Warners — is set to open Jan. 29, 2010, followed by remake “Clash of the Titans” on March 26. “Inception” opens July 16, and “Jonah Hex” on Aug. 6. “Suckerpunch” will be released on Oct. 8.

In terms of other changes to Warners’ 2009 slate, “The Hangover” will open June 5, one week earlier than its original release date of June 12.

Universal also disclosed Wednesday that it is taking Emma Roberts topliner “Wild Child” out of its May 8 slot this year. No new release date was given.

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