The July 4th Holiday weekend was looking to be quite the box office battle, but in an expected battle between “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” “The Last Airbender” and “Knight and Day” the Tom Cruise movie has effectively blinked.Â
In a somewhat surprising move, the Cruise and Cameron Diaz thriller “Knight and Day” has moved from July 2 to June 25.Â This will now pit the comedy action flick against Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Chris Rock ensemble comedy “Grown Ups.”Â Both films now have a five day lead on “Eclipse,” the third installment in the “Twilight” franchise which opens on June 30.Â The “Knight” move meansÂ M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” now has July 2nd all to itself.
The last “Twilight” flick, “New Moon” delivered the biggest single opening day in history ($72.1 million) and the third biggest opening in history ($142.8 million).Â Most industry distribution experts believe that while “Eclipse” will dominate the female quadrants over the July 4th weekend there is still room for another film or two to succeed during that period.Â However, when looking at the landscape, the box office will be too crowded for all four to be the summer blockbusters their studios expect them to be.Â 20th Century Fox is no doubt hoping that by moving “Day” to the 25th it bucks those odds.Â
There is no doubt “Eclipse” with young superstars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner back in the fold will rule the July 4th holiday frame. “Airbender” has a built in young audience Paramount assumes will make it the family friendly pick over the holiday.Â The question is whether both “Knight” and “Grown Ups” will split their key male demo during their crucial opening weekend thereby cannibalizing each film’s long term prospects.Â One thing is for sure, both Fox and Sony Pictures are going to have to spend a lot of marketing money to make sure their picture doesn’t come out at the end of the four picture race.