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Studios set release dates – up to 2005!

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Several Hollywood studios have announced release dates for their high-profile SF films as far into the future as 2005 says Sci Fi Wire. Among the films scheduled : Mission Impossible 3, Van Helsing, The Amazing Spider-Man and Jurassic Park IV.

The trend has been growing since last summer, when Sony set a release date for its Spider-Man sequel on the first weekend of May 2004, the trade reported. Other studios have followed suit, claiming release dates throughout the summer.

Among the major films bowing in May 2004 are Fox’s futuristic Tomorrow on May 28, Universal’s vampire picture Van Helsing on May 21, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible 3 on Memorial Day weekend and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in June, the trade reported.

Those looking to fill their calendars for 2005 can pencil in the weekend before Memorial Day for Star Wars: Episode III and either June or July for Indiana Jones 4. The summer will also see the releases of Jurassic Park IV and Disney/Pixar’s Cars, the trade reported.

According to trade Variety, the reasons for the trend in long lead times include minimizing the financial risk, showing a commitment to talent and avoiding direct competition with other big-budget projects.

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