UIP has shuffled its early July summer schedule in theUK, bringing forward Steven Spielberg's tentpole release War Of The Worldsby a week to July 1.
UKexhibitors have also been informed that DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar willrelease on July 15 instead of July 1.
Therelease of Spielberg's sci-fi drama, which stars Tom Cruise, will now be inline with 90% of the world. The film is released on Wednesday June 29 in NorthAmerica and was previously scheduled to release in 78 countries simultaneously.
Speakingto Screen International last month UIP president and COO Andrew Crippscited Madagascar's July 1 release date and the presence of Warner Bros' BatmanBegins on June 24 (a week behind most territories) in the UK as reasons forWar Of The Worlds' week delay.
Last week it was announced that Warner Bros wouldlaunch Batman Begins on Wednesday June 22 bringing it forward by acouple of days.
WithUIP able to move Madagascar back to July 15 where the only majorhead-to-head competition will come from Entertainment Film Distributors' comedyThe Wedding Crashers, which is likely to skew towards the teenage andtwenty-something crowd and not the family audience key to the CGI animation, WarOf The Worlds was clear to move up and become part of the global assault.
The move frees up the July 8 slot. Whether anydistributor is brave enough to place a tentpole film only one week after WarOf The Worlds will remain to be seen but if not it could benefit WarnerBros' summer counter-programming title The Sisterhood Of The TravelingPants.
Thiscoming-of-age comedy drama about four female friends spending their firstsummer apart but linked by a shared pair of jeans now stands as the only widerelease on the date (the only other currently planned release is Metrodome'sdocumentary pick-up Overnight).
Thereis currently no word whether War Of The Worlds' date may move in SouthKorea, the other key international territory originally scheduled on July 8.
UIP has also announced October 7 as the UK releasedate of Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener, starring RalphFiennes and Rachel Weisz, a week ahead of its scheduled North American launchthrough Focus Features.