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‘XXX’ remarks spot

Studios show confidence by shifting bow

Their confidence bolstered in part by seeing a first cut of “XXX,” Revolution Studios and Sony are shuffling the August release dates for the extreme-sports spy thriller starring Vin Diesel and for Dana Carvey comedy “Master of Disguise.”

“XXX” had been skedded to debut Aug. 2 against Mel Gibson starrer “Signs.” It will now come out a week later, on Aug. 9. “Master,” which had been set for Aug. 16, will now come out Aug. 2.

“We think we can really make an impact with quite a few audiences, male and female, with ‘XXX,’ ” said Jeff Blake, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group worldwide distrib and marketing prexy.

“XXX” is produced by NealMoritz and helmed by Rob Cohen, who directed Diesel in last summer’s surprise hit “The Fast and the Furious,” which grossed more than $200 million worldwide. Diesel’s character in “XXX” is an extreme-sports athlete recruited by a government agent, played by Samuel L. Jackson, to infiltrate a Russian crime syndicate.

Pic’s first teaser trailer played ahead of “Spider-Man” to a strong response, and that and other trailer material will be shown in front of other Sony pics, such as “Men in Black II,” along with other big summer tentpoles, such as “Mr. Deeds” and “Minority Report.”

Last week, Moritz and Cohen showed “XXX” to Revolution execs, who liked its prospects for broad appeal enough to shift dates, expecting it would move far beyond a narrow teen audience. The Aug. 9 bow should reduce any competition the film would have for the broadest possible audience, and leaves it much of the rest of August to compete against films that weren’t designed to be tentpole competitors.

Revolution and Sony also hope “Master” will benefit from the shift. A family-oriented comedy that is Carvey’s comeback from serious illness, the pic will not be competing with the sci-fi thriller “Signs,” written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, for the same audience.

Revolution had already shown substantial confidence in “XXX” by locking up Cohen, Moritz’s Original Prods. and screenwriter Rich Wilkes for a sequel last week.