Sony finds "Solace" closer to Thanksgiving

Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:10pm EDT
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Harry split the scene, so 007 moved in for the kill.

Sony on Thursday moved its next James Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," back one week to November 14. That move is closely tied to the departure of Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from the November 21 release berth.

Just last week, the sixth "Potter" film newly planted its domestic flag on July 17, as executives sought to fill a hole in Warners' summer 2009 slate. The most immediate response to that move was Summit Entertainment's decision to move its youth-targeted vampire film "Twilight" up three weeks into the vacated "Potter" slot.

Now Sony executives -- who had been wishing for a release date closer to Thanksgiving and the holiday boxoffice season for their next Bond release -- have taken "Solace" to a suddenly much more attractive slot. Bond's previous perch, on November 7, was intended to maximize pre-"Potter" playtime.

Scratch that worry.

"'Harry Potter' moving out gave us an opportunity to get a little closer to the holidays, which has always been the traditional Bond spot," Sony worldwide marketing and distribution chairman Jeff Blake said. "Bond has a really good history of not only playing through Thanksgiving but going deep into the Christmas holidays."

Sony unspooled the last Bond film, the Daniel Craig-starring "Casino Royale," on November 17, 2006, and it was still playing in about 1,100 theaters between Christmas and New Year's, Blake noted.

Sony holds worldwide theatrical rights to the Eon-produced Bond franchise, with longtime Bond distributor MGM controlling all post-theatrical windows.   Continued...

<p>Daniel Craig who plays James Bond poses during a photocall at Pinewood Studios to mark the start of production of the 22nd James Bond film, "Quantum of Solace", in Buckinghamshire, north of London January 24, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird</p>