It was a busy week under the famed Warner Brothers water tower in Burbank, as the studio set release dates for eighteen new features, and updated dates for four others, just part of a very busy week across the board.
Changes, by studio:
Garfield: Once scheduled to open this Christmas, then slotted for an early summer release, the live action/CG adaptation of the long running cartoon strip will now open on May 14, 2004
The Barbarian Invasions: Denys Arcand’s sequel to his 1986 breakthrough film “The Decline of the American Empire,” winner of two awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will first open in Los Angeles and New York City on November 21, before moving into selected cities on December 19
Shaolin Soccer: Originally scheduled to open in America fourteen months ago, Stephen Chow’s smash hit is now scheduled to be released on August 15
Dawn Of The Dead: While purists debate whether this remake deserves to even exist, amid concerns how the same studio dropped “House of a Thousand Corpses” when that film proved to be too violent for their tastes, the film has been given a prime spring break release date of March 26, 2004
King Kong: You may start your countdown to December 14, 2005, now
Riddick: Losing most of its lengthy title, the first of three planned sequels to “Pitch Black,” with Vin Diesel is on a collision course with cinemas on June 11, 2004
Untitled John Hamburg Project: The Ben Stiller comedy, the feature directing debut of the screenwriter for “Meet The Parents,” will open on March 12, 2004. Jennifer Aniston and Alec Baldwin co-star.
Wimbledon: Romance and tennis have rarely blended well on screen, but that’s not stopping Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst from giving it a shot. Previously set as a Hugh Grant project, the film also known as “Two Weeks In Love” will ace moviegoers on September 24, 2004
Alexander: The Oliver Stone biography of the famed global conqueror will invade theatres, with this shorter title, in December 2004
The Aviator: Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio reteam on this bio-pic of Howard Hughes, which will land in theatres in December 2004
The Big Bounce: The second adaptation of the early Elmore Leonard novel, originally planned for a fall 2003 release, now arrives in February 2004
Catwoman: You’ll have to wait until July 30, 2004, to see Halle Berry sling around in that skin-tight leather bodysuit. Meow!
A Cinderella Story: Hilary Duff as an ugly duckling who needs to be transformed into a baber Yeah, I’ll buy that for a dollar! Suspend your disbelief beginning July 16, 2004
Constantine: Based on a character in the DC comic “Hellblazer,” this Keanu Reeves film is currently set for September 2004. We’re betting this will eventually move into a prime July slot within the next twelve months
Grind: The extreme sports comedy starring Jason London, moves up one week, now opening on August 15
How It Was With Dooms: The latest from “Black Stallion” director Carrol Ballard, based on the children’s picture book “How It Was With Dooms: A True Story From Africa,” is set to open in August 2004
Mystic River: Despite being well received at the recent Cannes Film Festival, the latest from director Clint Eastwood has been pushed back three weeks. The Boston-based drama will now open on October 10. The Whole Ten Yards, which was scheduled to open this day, has been pushed back one week, to October 17
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience: Have you ever wanted to experience what Jeff Gordon does every week… on a really big screenr You’ll get your chance come next March
New York Minute: After the phenomenal success of “Spider-Man” and “X2,” the first weekend in May is now considered to be the powerhouse opening to the summer season. Naturally, this is the best time to open an Olsen Twins movie. On May 7, 2004, you’ll believe twin girls can shop.
Ocean’s Twelve Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney and the entire gang are back, and this time they’ve got their eye set on a major caper in jolly ole England. But Terry Benedict hasn’t forgotten what happened last time, and is hot in their trail. How will it all come outr You’ll have to wait until December 10, 2004, to find out
The Phantom Of The Opera: Joel Schumacher’s adaptation of the long running stage musical is scheduled to haunt theatres in December 2004
The Polar Express: The mega-budgeted motion capture CG animated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s book, featuring Tom Hanks and Michael Jeter, in his final “appearance,” will pull into theatres on November 19, 2004
A Sound Of Thunder: Based on the story by Ray Bradbury, Ed Burns and Ben Kingsley will accidentally alter the course of history when their time traveling safari expedition goes awry. The hunt begins April 16, 2004
Taking Lives: The thriller starring Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke, in which a Tom Ripley-esque killer assumes the identities of his victims, stalks moviegoers on April 30, 2004
Untitled Dark Castle: Every year, Robert Zemeckis and Joel Silver provide a lower budgeted horror/thriller film for release through their Dark Castle banner. Previous titles have included “House on Haunted Hill,” “Thirteen Ghosts” and “Ghost Ship.” This year’s entry is the Halle Berry starrer “Gothika.” Next year’s entry, with no title or plot announced, already is set for an October 29, 2004, date. Could this be the long-planned Zemeckis remake of William Castle’s “Macabre”r Only time will tell
Untitled Mandy Moore Project: First, we had dueling body switching movies. Then dueling Wyatt Earp movies, dueling Volcano movies and, this year, dueling motorcycle racing movies, until “Torque” was moved back until next year. Whoever thought there would be dueling comedies about the President’s teenaged daughterr With Fox laying claim to the “First Daughter” title, Warners decides instead to be the first out of the gate, scheduling their similarly themed comedy for January 7, 2004, two days before the one with Katie Holmes
Void Moon: Mimi Leder directs this adaptation of Michael Connelly’s best selling novel, about a recently paroled female criminal who is forced to return back to a life of crime. Production will begin in September, with an October 2004 release date planned.
Yu-Gi-Oh: Warners hopes the shelf life for this trading card game-cum-weekday cartoon series-cum motion picture does not expire until after August 2004