I’ve never seen Hollywood studios so slippery when it comes to box office as they’ve been this blockbuster crowded summer. Here’s the latest example: I was told as late as yesterday — yesterday — by Paramount that it was still opening DreamWorks tentpole Transformers next Tuesday July 3rd and would have a “6-day total” over Fourth Of July. But rival studios alerted me tonight that, very quietly, Paramount has slipped in Monday July 2nd showings of the heavily anticipated Michael Bay pic improved by Steven Spielberg. (And, to think, all their movie posters both real and online say July 3rd. And some clueless media outlets like Entertainment Weekly are still reporting Transformers‘ release date as July 4th.) Nor are these Monday midnight showings, which could count for Tuesday’s box office. I’ve confirmed that the screenings begin at 8 p.m., so they should count towards Monday’s box office. So that would be a “7-day total” if counted separately. UPDATE: *Paramount now acknowledges they miscommunicated with me and regret the error.* But rival studios are grousing to me that Paramount was trying to pull a fast one and planned to put Monday’s gross receipts in with Tuesday’s to get a bigger number because of the PR value. I’m not shocked games like this go on in Hollywood, but I am surprised Paramount thought we’d play along.