21 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Wednesdays are becoming the new Fridays. Over the past few weeks, three films have made the shift from a planned Friday opening to a Wednesday slot. While Warner Bros. Pictures' The Polar Express, DreamWorks' Surviving Christmas and Focus Features' Seed of Chucky all switched to Wednesday, Nov. 10, to take advantage of Veterans Day, which falls on a Thursday this year, more and more distributors are making the move to hump day to help their films stand out in the crowd. The current spate of date shifts brings the list to nine schedule changes this year from the traditional Friday opening to a midweek release date, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Some of the schedule changes have involved a limited Wednesday opening in either New York or Los Angeles or both. Lions Gate adopted that strategy for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, for example. Other changes have involved shifting a movie's entire wide release up two days, as happened with DreamWorks' Shrek 2 and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man 2.

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