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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Snow White

Around Town: Snow White, Casablanca at Oscars Outdoors

June 14, 2012 |  6:00 am


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduces its "Oscars Outdoors" screening series  Friday evening with the 1942 Oscar-winning romantic classic "Casablanca," followed by Walt Disney's seminal 1937 animated feature, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,'' Saturday evening.

The screenings take place at the academy's new open-air theater on its Hollywood campus. All of the June screenings are sold out, but there will be a standby line the day of the event.  http://www.oscars.org

Cinespia's outdoor screening series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is in full swing this summer with Cheech and Chong's highly combustible 1978 comedy, "Up in Smoke," scheduled for Saturday evening. http://www.cinespia.org

New Beverly Cinema kicks off the weekend with the antic 1944 Frank Capra comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace," based on the long-running Broadway hit. The film, which stars Cary Grant, screens Friday and Saturday.

With Woody Allen's latest, "To Rome with Love," opening next week, the New Bev presents two of the his "early funny ones" Sunday and Monday: 1975's "Love and Death" and 1972's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (But Were Afraid to Ask)." http://www.newbevcinema.com

The UCLA Film & Television Archive's celebration of Universal's 100-year anniversary presents the granddaddy of all-star disaster films, 1970's "Airport," on Friday evening at the Billy Wilder Theater. George Seaton wrote and directed this Oscar-best-film nominee based on the novel by Arthur Hailey about a suicidal bomber (Van Heflin) aboard a transatlantic flight. Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Jean Seberg and Helen Hayes, who won the supporting actress Oscar as a stowaway, are among the many stars. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Veronica Gelakoksa, author of "Pig 'n  Whistle," and Los Angeles Magazine columnist/preservation and vintage culture expert Chris Nichols will talk about the famed L.A restaurants of the 1920s-'40s after a screening Saturday afternoon of the 1945 film noir classic "Mildred Pierce" at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. Joan Crawford won her Academy Award for her role.

The 1945 theme continues early Sunday evening at the Egyptian with the Art Directors Guild Film Society's screening of MGM's lavish all-star musical "Ziegfeld Follies," which was directed by several of the studio's directors, including Vincente Minnelli. Guests include Oscar-nominated costume designer Bob Mackie and cinematographer Michael Lonzo.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre's latest installment in its "Grit and Whimsy III: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema" continues Wednesday with the 2009 drama "Altiplano." http://www.americancinematheque.com

Oscar-winning composer and sometimes actor Paul Williams will be on hand Friday evening at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre's tribute, which features two films for which he composed the scores: 1979's "The Muppet Movie," which includes the tune "The Rainbow Connection," and 1974's "The Phantom of Paradise."

Cinefamily also celebrates the 45th anniversary of the milestone Monterey International Pop Music Festival with a screening Sunday evening of D.A. Pennebaker's 1968 classic documentary "Monterey Pop." The film's producer, Lou Adler, and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas (who appear in the film) will be on hand. http://www.cinefamily.org

Los Angeles Filmforum presents Peter Greenaway's 2007 drama "Nightwatching," starring Martin Freeman as Rembrant, Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre. http://www.lafilmforum.org

The Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats present a 1942 Mexican comedy "Los Tres Mosqueteros," starring the legendary Mario Moreno — best known to the world as Cantinflas — Wednesday evening at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. There will also be a pre-show panel. http://www.laconservancy.org


"Movie academy goes casual with plan for outdoor summer screenings"



Susan King

Photo: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" screens Saturday at "Oscar Outdoors." Credit: Disney.



Kristen Stewart's 'Snow White' debuts with $56.3 million [Video]

June 4, 2012 |  1:48 pm

Kristen Stewart proved she appeals to more than just "Twilight" fans at the box office, as her latest film beat industry expectations over the weekend.

"Snow White and the Huntsman," which also stars Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, debuted with a better-than-anticipated $56.3 million. 

The good news for Stewart was that the movie attracted an older audience, 52% of whom were over the age of 30. That indicates that the 22-year-old actress may have appeal beyond the young female fan base that typically turns up to see the vampire series.

For more on the respectable opening of "Snow White," check out this week's box-office video report.


"Snow White" has surprisingly strong $56.3-million debut

Five lessons from the success of Kristen Stewart's 'Snow White'

"Snow White and the Huntsman" is a tale darkly told, critics say

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Kristen Stewart stars in "Snow White and the Huntsman." Credit: Universal Pictures

Five lessons from the success of Kristen Stewart's 'Snow White'

June 4, 2012 |  8:30 am

Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, turned out respectable box office as it opened in theaters to decent reviews

The $56.3 million taken in by "Snow White and the Huntsman" at the U.S. box office this weekend won't shatter any industry records. But the number, like the movie's "B" CinemaScore, was a respectable result in a season that has been turning out plenty of zeroes.

What drove the film, and what can be learned from it? Here are five lessons of "Snow White's" solid performance.

Capeless. Between "Battleship," "John Carter" and "Dark Shadows," spring 2012 has seemed like a parade of big-budget disappointments, particularly for non-superhero movies. Either your release is an all-out "Avengers"-style blockbuster or you're fighting for scraps. But the results for "Snow White," along with the $112-million "Men in Black 3" has taken in domestically since opening last weekend, showed that there's room for mid-range, non-superhero successes in a season that's been dominated by "The Avengers" (and will next month be stormed by "The Dark Knight Rises").

No fairy tale. With "Mirror Mirror," "Red Riding Hood" and "Beastly" all disappointments over the last 18 months, the fairy-tale boom has often seemed like a bust. Turns out there's life in the subgenre yet -- though we'll see if it's enough life to support a potential "Huntsman" spinoff.

Universalism. It hasn't exactly been the best season for Universal Pictures, with "Battleship" tanking and "The Five-Year Engagement" stalling. But "Snow White" (which also performed well overseas) sets things up for a possible turnaround -- something that will be much needed as the studio releases a trio of hyped bets this summer in "Savages," "Ted" and "The Bourne Legacy."

The adults shall lead them? Fairy tales have long been the province of family films or high-school fables, from Disney's longtime hits to the current crop of teen releases. But Rupert Sanders' movie proves that if you go dark enough and advertise outside the youth demo, adults with steady jobs will come too. The proof? More than half the audience for "Snow White" this weekend was over the age of 30, according to Universal.

No longer stewing. Her performance didn't put her on anyone's Oscar shortlist, and there are plenty of non-Twihards who still aren't sold on Kristen Stewart. But the weekend's opening proved that KStew could -- at least with the aid of costars, a major marketing campaign and a known property -- help open a movie.


"Snow White" has surprisingly strong $56.3-million debut

"Snow White and the Huntsman" is a tale darkly told, critics say

"Snow White's" Kristen Stewart still wants new "East of Eden" pic

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart in "Snow White and the Huntsman." Credit: Universal Pictures

'Snow White's' Kristen Stewart still wants new 'East of Eden' pic

June 1, 2012 |  2:26 pm

With “East of Eden” often mentioned by Kristen Stewart among her favorite reads, the actress' fans have long clamored for the "Twilight" heroine to star in a reboot of the John Steinbeck classic.

That reboot, announced more than three years ago with Tom Hooper and Imagine Entertainment, has been perpetually stuck in development. But Stewart still feels strongly that the Cain-and-Abel story -- of course originally brought to celluloid by Elia Kazan and James Dean in 1955 -- could use another go-round on the big screen.

"Obviously ‘East of Eden’ is a really great movie," Stewart told 24 Frames when asked what book she'd most like to see adapted to film. "But it’s the last chapter of the ... book."

The Kazan film focuses only on the latter sections of the novel, particularly the dysfunction and adventures of a pair of brothers in California’s Salinas Valley around the time of World War I. Stewart said that a new film could take the scope of Steinbeck's epic, which goes back a previous generation and even flashes back to the Civil War, and make a more faithful adaptation.

"That really is much more of a saga. It's so long; there is so much to take," she said. 

The actress didn't say anything about starring as the Cathy/Kate character, as many KStew fans have been pulling for. (Cathy/Kate is the lead female character, a conniving and murderous operator who gets involved with several male characters.)

Stewart did, however, say she was relieved about the development progress of a different book that has struggled to make its way through Hollywood — John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," to which Zach Galifianakis has just signed on as the bumblingly iconic Ignatius Reilly.

"Finally, they're going to get that made," she said, breathing a sigh of relief.

In addition to starring in a new spin on a Brothers Grimm tale with this weekend's "Snow White and the Huntsman," the Bella-fied one appears in another adaptation of a classic text -- "On the Road," the film version of the Jack Kerouac tome that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and opens in December.

Garrett Hedlund, one of her costars in that film, has strong feelings himself about a book that could use a big-screen treatment. In contrast to "East of Eden," however, this one is older, longer and more French.

“There’s something about ‘Swann’s Way,'" Hedlund said, alluding to the first volume in Marcel Proust’s seven-part opus “Remembrance of Things Past," "something so Gatsby-ish, so wackily period, with so much substance."

He addded, “One of the things I loved about Marcel Proust is just the writing style. There’s like three periods and 150 commas in the opening pages. It’s amazing.”


"Snow White and the Huntsman" is a tale darkly told, critics say

Cannes 2012: Kristen Stewart says Jack Kerouac changed her life

Kristen Stewart: I'm not trying to distance myself from Twilight Saga

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Kristen Stewart at a screening of "Snow White and the Huntsman" in Los Angeles. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Kristen Stewart: I'm not trying to distance myself from 'Twilight'

May 30, 2012 | 12:23 pm

Kristen Stewart stars in Snow White and the Huntsman

In the four years since Kristen Stewart began playing the role of Bella Swan in the "Twilight" franchise, the actress has only appeared in three films outside of the massively popular series.

The most popular of the nonvampire fare was the 2009 comedy "Adventureland," which at its height played in around 1,800 theaters nationwide and ended up collecting $16 million -- nowhere near the kind of money a "Twilight" film rakes in. Her subsequent turns as Joan Jett in "The Runaways" and a stripper in "Welcome to the Rileys" were even less widely seen; the latter film grossed only $158,898.

Which all makes her latest role as the princess in "Snow White and the Huntsman" that much more significant. The big-budget spin on the classic fairy tale, out Friday, will mark the first time that most American moviegoers will get to weigh in on whether or not they buy Stewart as anyone but Bella.

Still, the actress says taking on "Snow White" wasn't a calculated move to change her on-screen image.

"People are going to think that it's me trying to either distance myself from 'Twilight' or try to prove myself beyond it or whatever," the 22-year-old said Tuesday evening at a screening of the $175-million production. "But it's [just] good timing. I think it's all fallen off the truck in a really lucky way. But it's totally not my doing."

Asked if she felt "Snow White" marked a new phase in her career, Stewart said it didn't.

" 'Twilight' means so much to me, but it doesn't stand out in terms of -- " she paused, looking for the right words. "Everything I do needs to be really important. ['Snow White'] is neither better or worse than anything I've done."

Her latest film, which also stars Charlize Theron, is the second picture based on the children's tale to hit theaters this year; "Mirror Mirror," Relativity's lighter take on "Snow White," struggled at the box office after its release in March. But Stewart said she thinks her version of the film will resonate with fans because it's a "fundamental story" that makes "you care about people."

"Not to be totally over-sentimental about it, but it's got a nice message -- and a very, very simple one. It just kind of makes you feel good about being human."

Stewart will show off a different side of herself in an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” which premiered to generally positive reviews at the Cannes International Film Festival last week and will hit U.S. cinemas later this year. Meanwhile, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2” -– the final film in the series -– will open in November.


Kristen Stewart: I loved scaring myself in 'On The Road'

Kristen Stewart on her 'Twilight' fame: 'It's like you don't exist'

Charlize Theron reveals a running gag from the 'Snow White' set

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Kristen Stewart stars in "Snow White and the Huntsman." Credit: Universal Pictures

'Mirror Mirror': What happened to the fairy-tale renaissance?

April 2, 2012 |  7:00 am

"Mirror Mirror," starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins and directed by Tarsem Singh, is the latest fairy-tale disappointmentOf all the ways American pop culture defines itself in the early part of the 21st century, myths -- larger than life, older than time -- supersede them all.  World-creation (usually based on the rules of a world someone previously created) is what we consume, as one glance at the "Lord of the Rings"-ish enthusiasm for HBO's just-launched second season of "Game of Thrones" demonstrates.

No world is getting (re)created these days more than the one shaped by the Brothers Grimm. And yet it's these myths we seem to want least.

This was supposed to be the era of the fairy-tale movie. Big studios threw big money at big stars to take us to the land of happily ever after. In part, this was -- let's be honest -- because the source material came cheap. But it was also happening for all sorts of cultural reasons, we were told, a metaphor for evil and escape in a post-9/11 world, children's folklore with a Christopher Nolan spin.

TIMELINE: Snow White through the years

Yet like Cinderella's slippers on the other women, none of them have quite fit. In fact, fairy-tale movies so far have been dismal commercial and creative affairs. This past weekend's "Mirror Mirror," starring Lily Collins as the put-upon princess Snow White, was the latest such disappointment -- a paltry $19-million opening, just a 53% favorable rating on Movie Review Intelligence. And though you can toss out specific reasons for its failure (mistimed marketing, the diminishing appeal of Julia Roberts), it's starting to feel like something larger is going on here.

Tarsem Singh's decision to spin a fairy tale into a bouncy, punny, girl-empowerment story has fared no better than the bending of the form to other genres, not to the earnest teen romance ("Beastly") nor the gory period thriller ("Red Riding Hood"), both of which struck out with critics and audiences as well. Over the river and through the woods, to the house of flopdom we go.

This is all in pointed contrast to other mythic cinematic offerings -- the kind, such as "Harry Potter" or "The Hunger Games," that take stories to the realm of the fantastic without the strictures and expectations of a direct fairy-tale adaptation. It's also in contrast to television, where the fantasy procedural “Grimm” and the fairy-tale adventure "Once Upon a Time" have both enjoyed at least modest success, suggesting that if you are indeed going to try to put your mark on the Brothers Grimm, perhaps you need more than 100 minutes to do it well.

TIMELINE: Snow White through the years

There's still time for others to reverse the tide: Universal Pictures has been parceling out pieces of this June's "Snow White and the Huntsman," for example, hoping that the straight-faced seriousness of an action movie will be the fairy-tale formula that finally catches on. Maybe it will. Or maybe we'd rather look to new, "Games of Thrones"-like horizons instead of continuing to gaze in the mirror.


Hollywood is churning out classic fairy-tales -- with a twist

"Mirror Mirror": Snow White tale is fair (not fairest), critics say

Box Office: Greek gods, Snow White no match for "The Hunger Games"

--Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Lily Collins as Snow White, surrounded by dwarfs, in "Mirror Mirror." Credit: Relativity Media

'Mirror Mirror' trailer: Are the Snow White wars overblown?

November 16, 2011 |  9:20 pm

Those of us who make our living following the entertainment business tend to look for rivalries because, well, it's fun, and because Hollywood is enough of a copycat place that it's impossible to avoid the competition even if we wanted to.

But we didn't have to look very hard to find a battle between Universal Pictures and Relativity Media over the last year as they each raced to mount Snow White movies. The fight had more story lines than the Grimm Brothers could come up with: Two movies, each putting a new spin on the virginal beauty and the mirror-gazing villain, were pushing forward at the same time.

Each had buzzy young actresses in the title role (Kristen Stewart for Universal's "Snow White and the Huntsman" and Lily Collins for Relativity's film, which would eventually be titled "Mirror Mirror") and an established Oscar winner as the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron in “Huntsman” and Julia Roberts in “Mirror”).

Each hired Hollywood outsiders to get behind the camera (Rupert Sanders for "Huntsman" and Tarsem Singh for "Mirror").

To top it off, you had two companies with history: Relativity for years had financed a large section of Universal's slate before breaking out to produce and release movies on its own.

Throughout the summer, it seemed like the companies played chicken with release dates, before settling on March 16 ("Mirror") and June 1 ("Huntsman").

But there's been a nagging feeling for a while now that the movies may not turn out that similar to one another, if only because that's not really in anyone's interest. As much as each side in one of these battles says it wants to win, what it really wants is to avoid cannibalization. Sure, these standoffs sometimes amount to riches for everyone -- "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact,” from 1998, is the oft-cited example -- but chances are if two studios make their movies too similar to each other, they’ll both lose at least a little bit.

If there was any doubt that the similarities were overstated, the newly released trailers underlined the point. The spot for "Snow White and the Huntsman" came out last week, and it immediately made clear it owed a creative debt to a host of genre movies, from "Twilight" to "The Dark Knight." The villains were genuinely scary and the mood was ultra-serious; even the heroine's not doing much smiling.

Right on its heels came Relativity Media on Wednesday -- it seemed like a response, but who could say for sure -- with its own trailer for "Mirror Mirror." The company appeared to have blinked when it took the "Snow White" name off its movie. But it may also have been hinting at something else: Its film really doesn't go to the dark roots of the Grimm Brothers or to the hunter/hunted angle of its counterpart.

As the trailer suggests, it's a light, bouncy story, somewhere between "The Princess Diaries" and a live-action "Shrek." Roberts’ Evil Queen isn't fearsome as much as goofy, and Collins looks like, well, a princess, not sprinting, breathless prey. (For our sister blog Hero Complex's take on the two trailers, please check out its story here.)

It's possible that some filmgoers will still conflate the films. But at this point it's becoming clear that each movie can succeed on its own.

Not that that will be easy. "Mirror Mirror" has to battle it out with the proliferating number of family films, which has already claimed some victims. And "Huntsman" has plenty to worry about with the other dark mythology-laden stories, such as "The Dark Knight Rises," which comes out this summer, and fairy-tale television dramas  like "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time." There will be rivalries, in other words. Just not necessarily the ones we expect.


Snow White and the Huntsman vs. Mirror Mirror: Which is fairest of them all?

Mirror Mirror trailer shows another side of Snow White

Kristen Stewart's Snow White looks to be the fairest of them all

Kristen Stewart vs Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Julia Roberts in "Mirror Mirror." Credit: Relativity Media

Kristen Stewart 'Snow White' looks to be fairest of all

November 10, 2011 |  5:04 pm

As the vampire craze starts to quiet down, the fairy-tale one starts to really crank up. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a bridge between the two. Kristen Stewart. The "Twilight" star, who reprises her role as Bella Swan in the upcoming "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I," will follow that next year with her lead role in “Snow White and the Huntsman."

Rupert Sanders’ take on the fairy tale is the second 2012 movie to put a new spin on the Grimm Bros. tale; Tarsem’s “Mirror Mirror” comes out in March.

But for all the Stewart hype, it’s Charlize Theron’s movie, at last judging by this new teaser. (Embed code is not available, but you can vew it here.)

Playing the Evil Queen in hot pursuit of Snow White, Theron is a convincing villain, especially with her mellifluous-but-lethal voice-over.

In a set of shots  that at once evoke a kind of Gothic chic and modern chase movie, Theron’s queen bares her teeth, reveals some insecurity and lays out her plans. (Stewart mostly runs.)

"Lips red as blood, hair black as night, bring me your heart, my dear, dear Snow White," she intones,  in a storyline that feels far more coherent than that other costumed fairy-tale update,  2010's "Red Riding Hood." There’s also a surprisingly human element, as Theron describes how it once brought her pain to cause evil, but now, well, she's mostly nourished by the victims' cries.

Female leads in big action movies are rare enough, but it’s even more heartening to see them leavened with some complexity. Or maybe we're just happy to see Stewart not pulling at her hair.

The movie hits June 1.


Kristen Stewart: Motherhood confounds me

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

--Steven Zeitchik


 Photo credit: Universal Pictures

'Snow White' war: Relativity Media leapfrogs its fairy tale adaptation's release date ahead of Universal's

May 24, 2011 |  2:31 pm

Julia Shot No. 2 has just been fired. As we predicted Monday, Relativity Media is moving the release date for its still-untitled, family-friendly Snow White action project ahead of Universal Pictures' fairy tale adaptation, "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Relativity's movie, which will star Julia Roberts as the evil queen, will now come out on March 16, 2012, the same weekend as Sony's "21 Jump Street" and one week ahead of the highly anticipated adaptation "The Hunger Games" from Lionsgate. (Relativity's Snow White film is scheduled to begin shooting next month.)

Tuesday's move comes one week after Universal shifted its Snow White adaptation out of the 2012 holiday season to June 1, nearly a month ahead of Relativity's original June 29, 2012,  release date.

Relativity is not stopping with "Snow White." They seem to be engaging in all-out warfare with Universal, dating their Nicholas Sparks romance "Safe Haven" -- which has yet to be cast -- on June 1. That means it will go head to head with  "Snow White and the Huntsman" starring Kristen Stewart.

Relativity has also slated its Philip Noyce-actioner "Hunter Killer," about a rookie submarine captain who must work with a Navy SEAL, for Dec. 21,the same weekend that Universal has set its latest Judd Apatow-directed comedy, a "Knocked Up" spinoff that Universal just moved into December.

It's rare for this kind of battling to happen so early in the life cycle of a film. But Relativity's maneuvering suggests it was very upset with Universal's earlier decision to move its "Snow White" adaptation from late 2012 to June 1, ahead of Relativity's title. The question now is whether Universal will retaliate.

It's never good for the movie business as a whole when studios place competing projects on the same weekend because it splits the audience and diminishes the box-office potential for each film. With Relativity placing its Sparks film on the same weekend as Universal's "Snow White," one could argue that the two films will split the female audience. The same can be said for the male audience having to choose between "Hunter Killer" and the Apatow comedy.

It's unlikely the last chess piece has been moved in this high-stakes game.


The battle over 'Snow White' movies: Who will be the fairest (and first) of all

Hollywood is churning out classic fairy tales with a twist

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

After 'Twilight,' a fairy-tale renaissance looks for a happy ending

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Julia Roberts will star in Relativity Media's family-friendly Snow White action project. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press


The battle over 'Snow White' movies: Who will be the fairest and first of all? [update]

May 23, 2011 |  1:12 pm

Kristenstewart When Universal Pictures announced last week that it was moving up the release date for "Snow White and the Huntsman," its reimagining of the classic fairy tale, to June 1, 2012, it was clear the studio had thrown the first punch in a contentious bout to get its "Snow White" movie to theaters first. (The film, which will star Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, was previously slated for December 2012.) Universal is battling against Relativity Media, which had already slated its untitled "Snow White" film (starring Julia Roberts as the evil queen) for June 29, 2012. 

Now sources say Relativity Media is deliberating whether to make the next move and jump its  film ahead of Universal's. It's a game that seems unlikely to end well: Neither movie has started filming.

Director Rupert Sanders is supposed to begin shooting Universal's $160 million-budgeted fairy tale in August in London. Relativity, meanwhile, is expected to start production sooner but with plans to turn that film (which also stars Lily Collins as the titular character and "Social Network's" Armie Hammer as the prince) into a 3-D spectacle, the movie will require more work in post-production. Correction: Relativity confirms that its "Snow White" will not be in 3-D.

Let's see if Relativity goes forward with another release-date move. They don't have a lot of room to maneuver. May 2012 looks pretty crowded with "The Avengers," "Men in Black: 3D" and "Battleship" already scheduled. However, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is the only female-centric film so far to stake a claim to the month, though the studio says its movie will be a family-friendly action adventure film closer to the original Disney classic.

There is no guarantee that going first will result in better performance at the box office, but more often than not, it seems to pay off. "Tombstone," which came out in late 1993, grossed more than double what another western-themed film, "Wyatt Earp," did when it was released six months later. In 2004, "Troy" made close to $500 million worldwide when it debuted six months ahead of another swords-and-sandals epic, "Alexander," which earned just $167 million around the globe. Only "Armageddon" disproved the first-is-best theory: It earned $200 million opening only two months after the disaster movie "Deep Impact," which grossed $140 million.

It will be interesting to see how far these two studios can push it. They can shave only so much time off the schedule before the cast and crew start to balk.


Hollywood is churning out classic fairy tales with a twist

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

After 'Twilight,' a fairy-tale renaissance looks for a happy ending

--Nicole Sperling

Photo: Kristen Stewart. Credit: Evan Agostini/AP



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