Hollywood plans early start for '05 summer

Sept. 10, 2004 at 3:00 PM

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Hollywood will get summer off to an earlier-than-usual start in 2005, with an April release of "XXX: State of the Union," Daily Variety said Friday.

Sony Pictures moved the release date up to April 29, from May 13, in response to this summer's crowded release schedule, the paper said.

In recent years, the first weekend in May has become the favorite release date for the first big movies of the summer. But Sony executives said strong box-office performances in April this year -- for such titles as "Mean Girls," "Man on Fire" and "13 Going on 30" -- demonstrate that there is no need to hold big releases until May.

Sony Vice Chairman Jeff Blake told the paper April might be a better time than late August to release summer movies.

"There's been a lot of success in expanding summer earlier," he said, "and a little less success in extending summer later."

Sony has also moved its untitled Bernie Mac-Ashton Kutcher comedy out of the traditional summer slot to March 18, the week before Easter.

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