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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pink Postponed,1259,---25936,00.html
'Pink Panther' Slinks Into Spring
Tue, Jun 07, 2005, 09:06 AM PT

LOS ANGELES ( There won't be an August release for Sony Pictures and MGM's remake of "The Pink Panther." Instead, the film is being shuttled off (no doubt accompanied by some Henry Mancini walking music) to a Feb. 10 date.

Sony acquired the Steve Martin comedy, in which the white-haired thespian steps into Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau uniform, as part of the April absorption of MGM. A Sony bigwigs assure The Hollywood Reporter that the move to the late winter has nothing to do with lack of faith in the movie or dodging a spate of high profile early-August comedies and everything to do with giving the film a sensitive promptional campaign.

"With the recent acquisition of MGM, we wanted to give our marketing department the time and opportunity to launch this very important franchise," Sony Pictures Releasing President Rory Bruer tells the trades. "We've seen the movie, and we really love this film. It's a franchise we believe in and are really excited about, and Steve Martin is great as Clouseau."

If he says so.

The original Aug. 5 date for "Panther" is also occupied by Warner Bros. Pictures' adaptation of "The Dukes of Hazzard" and 20th Century Fox's Mike Judge comedy which might never get a name.

While January and February are generally considered dumping grounds for the studios, recent Februarys have seen "50 First Dates" and "Hitch" become blockbuster hits, though both films capitalized on a Valentine's Day desire for romantic comedies, a niche that "Panther" won't be able to fill.

Other films slated for that Feb. 10 release include "Just Friends" with Amy Smart and Ryan Reynolds and Universal's animated take on "Curious George."


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