Inside Move: Revolution must skip ‘Christmas’

Studio loses rights to pic title in D'Works clash

HOLLYWOOD — Revolution Studios intends to retain the holiday spirit this November despite a recent setback.

The studio last week lost the rights to use the title “Skipping Christmas” for its holiday comedy, which bows Nov. 24, after the Motion Picture Assn. of America ruled that the name was too similar to DreamWorks’ “Surviving Christmas,” which hits theaters earlier that month on Nov. 12.

Revolution partner Joe Roth and DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg both appeared at an arbitration hearing to make the case for their respective films.

“Skipping Christmas” is based on the bestselling John Grisham book of the same name; DreamWorks’ laffer, which stars Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate, had already been shot and has been ready to be released for nearly a year.

The MPAA also denied Revolution the option of using “John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas” as an alternative. Revolution has yet to pick a new name, although “Skipping the Holidays” is being considered.

The most recent case of name dropping occurred when Disney changed the title of M. Night Shyamalan’s next pic from “The Woods” to “The Village,” after United Artists had already staked a claim to “The Woods” title. Both pics bow later this year.

Roth will make the now-unnamed comedy his second film as a director at Revolution after “America’s Sweethearts” in 2001. Pic, which stars Tim Allen as a man who’s frustrated with the commerciality of Christmas, begins lensing today.

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