Studios play summer shuffle. . .again

New sked shifts include 'House of Wax,' 'Hazzard,' 'Herbie'

HOLLYWOOD — This week in the summer release date chess match, Warner Bros. has shuffled its sked by moving horror remake “House of Wax” back a week and into the competitive May 6 weekend, where four other wide releases are slated.

Other pics set to bow on what has traditionally been the first frame of the summer season are 20th Century Fox’s Ridley Scott epic “Kingdom of Heaven,” Disney’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” New Line’s “Monster-in-Law” and MGM’s “Jiminy Glick in La La Wood.”

Meanwhile, Warners’ “The Dukes of Hazzard” has been moved up by a month to June 24, creating the season’s most nostalgic frame: Other wide releases skedded that weekend are Disney’s Love Bug update “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and Sony’s remake “Fun With Dick and Jane.”

Dimension quickly jumped on the date vacated by “Hazzard,” skedding Terry Gilliam pic “The Brothers Grimm” for July 29. “Grimm,” starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, had been most recently announced as a Thanksgiving release. Fractured fairy tale is now slated to open against Sony’s “Stealth,” Paramount’s “Elizabethtown” and Disney’s “Sky High.”

Also, in some early jockeying for summer 2006, Warners planted its flag on two key dates for its tentpoles. “Superman,” which is preparing to lense this spring with Bryan Singer at the helm, is now skedded for June 30, next year’s Independence Day frame. With July 4 falling on a Tuesday, the holiday frame runs five days.

Warners also announced that Wolfgang Petersen’s next project, “The Poseidon Adventure,” is skedded for May 5. Production on that project, a remake of the 1972 shipwreck pic, is set to start sometime later this year.

Coincidentally, Warners has landed on a date that Fox has previously claimed for “X-Men 3.” But the sequel is still looking for a director after Singer dropped out to take over the long-developed “Superman” for Warners.