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Inside Move: ‘Wild’ ride for Thornberrys

'Rugrats' rule roost in Nick's toon team-up

Even cartoons aren’t safe from sibling rivalry.

“The Rugrats” have apparently edged out “The Wild Thornberrys” in the eye of bigscreen parents Paramount and Nickelodeon.

The original title for Par’s “The Rugrats Go Wild” (released June 13) was announced as “The Rugrats Meet the Wild Thornberrys.” A teaser touting that title even ran before “The Wild Thornberrys Movie” last winter.

But now the Thornberrys have not only lost their shared billing, newspaper ads bury their cartoon visages below the fold.

Emphasizing “The Rugrats” looks like a better bet for Paramount, given the sibling toons’ bigscreen fortunes. “The Wild Thornberrys Movie” earned $39.9 million last year, a far cry from the $100.6 million and $76.5 million two earlier “Rugrats” pics earned.

The divide is also evident on TV, where “Thornberrys” airs on Nick only on Sunday afternoons and early weekday mornings — a relative graveyard shift in kid TV. In its heyday, the show registered a 4.0/21 for the season in kids 2-11. Now on CBS’s Saturday ayem lineup, it’s ekeing out a 2.0/8 with the same group. “Rugrats” continues strong, posting a 4.6/21 in kids 2-11 season to date.

Like any good parent, the pic’s exec producer and Nick Movies senior VP Julia Pistor says any signs of favoritism are inadvertent. “What we love about the movie is that we’ve taken two families and smashed them together. We thought this was a funny way to put both names in the title.”

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