UPDATE: I’ve been predicting for a while now that Thursday is the new Friday — and soon Wednesday will be the new Thursday — when it comes to movie release dates. Now Warner Bros announced this morning that it is moving up The Hangover Part III to Thursday May 23 “with traditional late shows” that Wednesday. (Toldja!) “Early exhibitor screening reactions have been sensational,” distribution czar Dan Fellman tells me after Part II was considered only mediocre at best. This is the time of year when the major studios start jockeying for position in the theaters to obtain even the slightest advantage. Not to mention to pad first-day Friday grosses. Warner Bros looks to beat the Memorial Day heat, slotting its comedy threequel a day ahead of Universal’s Fast & Furious 6. “Sounds strange that they would want to diminish the weekend gross they will be reporting by opening one day earlier,” one Uni exec noted to me. “Perhaps they heard that Fast 6, which trade screened yesterday, was fantastic?” Warner Bros was hugely successful releasing The Hangover Part II over Memorial Day weekend 2011. Meanwhile 20th Century Fox’s CGI toon from Blue Sky Studios, Epic, also opens Memorial Day weekend, relieving a long drought of family-friendly fare.
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