Inside Move: ‘Four’ divided by ‘3’ equals. . .

Fox and Par tentpoles light fuse next July 4th

There could be plenty of B.O. fireworks next Fourth of July, as a pair of pricey tentpoles look to stake out the same weekend turf in 2005.

That’s when Paramount’s Tom Cruise tentpole “Mission: Impossible 3” collides with Fox’s “Fantastic Four.”

Par recently decided to bump its pic’s opening from May 6 to June 29, two days before “Four” opens.

It’s a risky strategy for both studios.

Over the past decade, the Hollywood rule has been one tentpole per weekend — even if the weekend is as potentially lucrative as the Fourth of July weekend.

In recent years, the frame has seen the bows of “Independence Day,” both “Men in Black” pics, “Armageddon,” “Wild Wild West,” “Terminator 3” and, most recently, “Spider-Man 2.”

The one recent exception to the solo rule came in 2000, when Warner Bros. “Perfect Storm” faced off against Sony’s “The Patriot.” “Storm” won easily, prompting speculation that “Patriot” would have done better in another slot by itself.

But with Sony’s “Spider-Man 2” grossing a record-setting $180 million in its first six days, the lure of the Fourth is undeniable.

“M:I3” carries the clout of Cruise’s ongoing popularity and $1 billion in worldwide grosses for the first two pics in the franchise; “Fantastic Four” enjoys a loyal fan base and promises never-before-seen characters — the Thing, the Human Torch, the Invisible Girl and Mr. Fantastic.

Neither studio is blinking — yet.

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