'Superman': Adventures of the seven-day weekend!

15329__super_lSuperman’s adventures have taken him between dimensions on many an occasion. But this is something altogether different. With his release dates traveling two days back in time (from June 30 to June 28), Supes will now preside over what amounts to a seven-day July Fourth weekend.

Why the change? Warner Bros. asserts, with typically Soviet defensiveness, that it had been eyeing June 28 from the very beginning. (Really? From the beginning? The beginning being… when they set that June 30 date a year ago?)

My colleague Gary Susman cites the chief threat off Supes’ port bow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which also sports enormous fan love and an excellent (if coyly underexposed) trailer.

My theory? Read all the fine print about X3‘s "record" haul and you’ll start to get an idea what Warner’s after. Almost every "record" these days has some sort of asterisk after it — either it’s three-day vs. five-day, Friday vs. Saturday, Memorial Day vs. any old weekend, domestic vs. global, 1,000 screens vs. 3,000, or some combination of factors that casual observers rarely take the time to suss out. The studios trumpet their winnings, and all we hear is "big" and "record." Execs are looking for new hurdles to clear because they want a big headline and two-page ad in Variety to settle some stockholder nerves Back East.

Don’t get me wrong — this is real money we’re talking about. July 4, which falls on a Tuesday, is the endpoint of the July Fourth holiday weekend. Ain’t nothing a studio can do about that, short of renting a time machine (something Fox tried in the mid-’80s, I believe). But who’s to say when a holiday begins? Warner figured it out: The July Fourth holiday begins when Superman Returns. So… let’s have him return a tad early and give us a bit more weekend to play with, especially with those pesky pirates hanging around…

What does this mean for us? Longer weekends. Don’t know about you, but when the studios tell me it’s a holiday, I don’t go to work. I’m pretty sure there’s something in the Constitution about that. There’s definitely something in my consitution about it.

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Comments (16 total) Add your comment
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  • pete

    Is the rumour true that they had to digitally redo his “package” b/c it was too large?

  • Crystal

    OK, I buy that Warner Brothers wants to make more money. But one of the main reasons Superman Returns was to be released on June 30th is something that can only be appreciated by fanboys and comic book geeks and know-it-alls like me (and I thought you, Mr. Brown). Superman’s BIRTHDAY is officially on June 30th and that is karmic reason enough to keep the rebirth of this franchise on that day. Who cares about the extra hundred million or so, this is about tradition dammit!

  • wowser

    seriously, he needs to take his shirt off…i need to see this guy naked now..

  • Beth

    Personally, I’m just happy I get to see it a couple days earlier. On another note I would like to see him with her shirt off also.

  • Miles

    I don’t plan to see it, because I really like Smallville, and that actor represents the best superman I have ever seen, he is michaelangeleske, and he deserved to carry it over to the big screen. I’ll buy the DVD though, cause I’m sure it’ll have all these neat extras on the making of…

  • ssj

    I just can’t tell if this movie will be a worthy successor to the Christopher Reeve franchise (perhaps with the aid of a beer or three), or if the Brandon Rouse/Kate whatshername version (get your serious mind-altering substances ready) will be merely a pale imitation of what we’ve seen before. I suppose that my comic-inspired-movie-obsessed s.o. will end up spending more than a few bucks on this odyssey, regardless of whether he should– and that, aside from the quality of the movie per se, is why the movie got made in the first place. In any event, I think it would have been a better allocation of resources if Bryan Singer had just made sure that X-Men III was watchable. I understand, but cannot applaud, his devotion to the new Superman movie (particularly since there is an imminently watchable TV version at the ready every night of the week).

  • Delon

    This movie is not gonna be as big as the studio would love it to be. A lot changed since the first Superman movie and these are not his times anymore. We have other, much cooler heroes now who are in touch with the times. Bryan Singer will be sorry when this movie makes less money than X-3.

  • Sarah

    I just think the studio is cheating.
    Honestly, who cares anyway…

  • Mark

    The studio isn’t doing it for records, but you’re not entirely on the wrong track. Superman Returns was the most anticipated movie of the year after The Da Vinci Code so it should be the one everyone is waiting for, but a lackluster trailer showing too much Lex and not enough Clark combined with an absolutely incredible Pirates of the Caribbean trailer has caused Johnny Depp and Co. to supplant the man in the red cape as the most anticpated movie of the Summer from here on out.

  • roxie

    These Tuesday openings set a bad precedent. Pretty soon the studios will declare that “the weekend” starts Tuesday and we’ll all be screwed. As it is, I’m calling in sick to work to go see “The Omen.” :-) Say, did anyone see “Ghosthunters” finale at ‘The Shining’ hotel last nite?? Totally freaky stuff! Get a recap here:
    http://kisskissandallthat.blogspot.com/

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