MGM moves ‘Affair’ in summer shift

Studio avoids adult-oriented July

MGM has pushed back the release of UA’s “The Thomas Crown Affair” from Friday, June 18, to Wednesday, Aug. 11.

The move comes in response to a scheduling change by Paramount, which earlier this week shifted its John Travolta-Madeline Stowe starrer “The General’s Daughter,” from June 11 to June 18. Both pics are thrillers targeted at older audiences.

Moving “Crown” to an earlier date wasn’t an option, according to Larry Gleason, MGM president of worldwide distribution, because the Pierce Brosnan-Rene Russo starrer wouldn’t have been completed in time.

The sexy cat-and-mouse pic faces off against Fox’s teen comedy “Next to You” as well as three films bowing on Friday, Aug. 13: Warner Bros.’ “Mickey Blue Eyes,” New Line’s “Detroit Rock City” and Buena Vista’s Viking epic, “The 13th Warrior”

The studio also wanted to avoid July, which is extremely crowded with a number of adult-oriented pics including “Arlington Road,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Runaway Bride.”

The first weekend in August has been considered a viable release date ever since the “The Fugitive” opened on Aug. 6, 1993, and went on to gross $184 million.

But few high-profile pics have been released in mid-August. However, last summer, “Blade” grossed $68 million after opening on Aug. 21.