NBA teams (and some fans) may already be looking forward to the 2010 free agent class that will be battling for dollars a year from now, but the July 4 weekend also a year from now has become one of the more intriguing box office battles in quite awhile.
Summit Entertainment's "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" has June 30 staked out and the M. Night Shyamalan adaptation of "The Last Airbender" were already set to open two days later on July 2. This was curious enough that many industry execs wonders whether the "Twilight" Moms would take their kids to "Airbender" or drag their daughters to "Eclipse" instead. Now, Columbia Pictures has moved the Adam Sandler buddy comedy "Growns Ups" from it's previously announced March 12 release to June 25. That's only five days before "Eclipse" and could make "Grown Ups," which also stars Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider, as a clearly men-only endeavor. Could it put a dent in "Eclipse's" box office total?
In theory, all three pictures could find their niche, but unlike this year's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," a massive blockbuster does not seem to be in the mix. Sandler hasn't had a film gross under $100 million in the summer season since "Airheads"...in 1994. And unless there is franchise fatigue that appears with "New Moon," the third "Twilight" installment should be strong, although it's an untested summer product. The biggest possible looser? "Airbender," which so far hasn't shown it's going to appeal to any audience other than the kiddies.
With the box office battle a year away, Sandler will focus on his next release "Funny People," opening July 31 and "Twilight" fans are counting the days till "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" which hits theaters on Nov. 20.
Columbia Pictures also announced they are moving the opening date of Michel Gondry's "The Green Hornet" (which hasn't even begun shooting yet) to July 9. The Seth Rogen/Stephen Chow picture was originally set for the June 25 slot "Grown Ups" now occupies. In another intriguing weekend, "Hornet" will go up against 20th Century Fox's similarly male-skewing "Predators" reboot and Universal's animated family tale "Despicable Me."