Twilight moves into Potter's place

Twilight moves into Potter's place

Summit shifts vampire romance to Nov. 21

Summit Entertainment has pushed up the release date of its hotly anticipated vampire romance "Twilight" to Nov. 21, taking advantage of the B.O. opening left by Warner Bros.' surprise decision to move "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to July.

The vampire romance, based on the first of four bestselling vampire novels by Stephenie Meyer, had been skedded to open Dec. 12 opposite Twentieth Century Fox's sci-fi remake "The Day the Earth Stood Still," starring Keanu Reeves. After WB confirmed its "Harry Potter" shift on Thursday, Summit rushed to move "Twilight" into holiday prime time.

"With a giant franchise like 'Harry Potter' in the market, we had to stay clear of it," said Summit Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Rob Friedman. "Their move created an opportunity to bring the movie to fans three weeks earlier, who have continued to show their enthusiasm, from Comic-Con to the giant 'Breaking Dawn' book sales. We felt we had to take that opportunity."

While the "Twilight" books have not sold on the level of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, many observers have made the comparison between the two fantasy series and their passionate devotees. The "Twilight" books fall in the young adult realm and boast a strong femme following. Pic adaptation has been generating strong Internet buzz for months. At Comic-Con in July, young British actor Robert Pattinson was taken aback when women screamed at him in the San Diego Convention Center. He co-stars with Kristen Stewart in the romantic thriller directed by Catherine Hardwicke ("thirteen") from a script by Melissa Rosenberg ("Step Up"). Karen Rosenfelt, Greg Mooradian and Wyck Godfrey produce along with Mark Morgan via his Maverick Films banner. "Twilight" is the first film in Summit's thriller romance franchise.

Summit plans a wide release of "Twilight" in more 3,000 theaters, Friedman said. "Twilight" will face competition from Walt Disney Pictures' animated film "Bolt," which moved from Nov. 26 onto the Nov. 21 date.

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