Inside Move: July 4 fireworks for Fox, D’Works

Dueling pix pit studios in rematch for holiday weekend

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Twentieth Century Fox has planted the flag for “Fantastic Four 2” on July 4, 2007, putting it on a collision course with DreamWorks’ “Transformers,” which is already skedded on the same date.

This isn’t the first time Fox and DreamWorks have tangled over Independence Day. Fox had long intended last summer’s “Fantastic Four” to come out over the holiday weekend.

However, Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” (which was co-financed by DreamWorks and Paramount) moved onto the weekend, and eventually “Four” had to retreat to a July 8 release. It opened to $56 million and reached a cume of $154 million.

Fox will likely take some pleasure if it ends up pushing “Transformers,” arguably the biggest project on DreamWorks’ upcoming slate, off a coveted date.

Nevertheless, DreamWorks distrib prexy Jim Tharp didn’t express any anxiety about Fox’s “Four” move. “We think ‘Transformers’ has the potential to not just be a huge movie but a franchise,” he said.

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