Movie release dates become tough for studios to script

Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos may run a movie studio, but these days they often feel more like traffic cops, making sure 20th Century Fox's releases don't crash into rival films at the multiplex.

To help them through the congestion, the movie chiefs pore over slick white boards in their offices cluttered with color-coded magnetic strips showing the titles of films set for release through 2010. Like chess players in a high-stakes game, they shift films around hoping to outmaneuver rivals.

With a glut of titles flooding the marketplace, all studio bosses fear that the surplus is impeding an already rugged road to profitability. Studios and independent distributors last year released a record 517 films -- an average of 10 a weekend, up 49% from a decade earlier -- and this year movies are coming at the same pace.

(Los Angeles Times)

Film Business, Hollywood

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