Paramount and Sony’s “Longest Yard” remake won’t hit the bigscreen until four months after football season wraps, but the studios are hoping some major promo mojo will keep fans in a pigskin state of mind all the way into May.
Not surprisingly, most gridiron pics bow during football season, including the top six grossers in the genre: “The Waterboy,” “Remember the Titans,” “Friday Night Lights” “Any Given Sunday,” “Varsity Blues” and “Radio.”
But, bucking convention, “Yard” will hit screens May 27, when baseball season is in full swing and basketball is deep into playoffs — hardly the mindset for football.
Studio execs believe “Yard” is a mass-appeal comedy tentpole that deserves the May 27 slot, given the presence of Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
But they’re looking to stake an early awareness for the film at this year’s Super Bowl with a 30-second spot to air during the telecast. (Pricetag: $2.4 million). They’ve also hired marketers to stencil the movie’s logo at strategic locations around the Jacksonville, Fla., site of the Feb. 6 game.
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And lest there be any worries about Sandler’s ability to attract a sporting crowd, it’s worth remembering that “The Waterboy,” Sandler’s breakout movie, set a record for sports films with a $161 million domestic gross.