War of the Worlds vs. Fantastic Four

While 20th Century Fox first set a July 1, 2005 release date for its Marvel Comics adaptation Fantastic Four, Paramount Pictures has now moved the Steven Spielberg-directed and Tom Cruise adaptation of H.G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds” two days earlier, to Wednesday, June 29.

The current situation would give Fantastic Four four days to tally up a big box office, since the Fourth lands on a Monday, but now “Worlds” has positioned itself for an even bigger six day box office opening.

The Hollywood Reporter says neither studio is backing down so far. “‘Fantastic Four’ is in the league of ‘X-Men’ and ‘Spider-Man,’ and over the last two summers those movies have opened to an average of over $100 million,” Fox executive vp marketing Jeffrey Godsick said. “‘Fantastic Four’ has been shooting for a while and looks to be true to its name — fantastic.” The trade says Paramount declined comment for the article.

It’s nothing new for Fox though, as Paramount previously scheduled Cruise sequel “Mission: Impossible 3″ on the same date, June 29, before pushing it back a year to make way for “Worlds”. “Worlds” will face a much tighter post-production schedule than “Four”.

The only other wide release on July 1st is Disney’s animated “Chicken Little,” which Fox views as family-oriented counterprogramming that would not compete directly with “Four”.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter