Par pitches tentpole on July 1, 2011


The battle for moviegoers of the future rages on.

Just days after Marvel and studio partners including Paramount tweaked plans for release dates on comic-book actioners into 2012, Paramount has scheduled its second "Transformers" sequel to unspool during 2011's Independence Day holiday frame. No other release is set for that weekend.

On Monday, Paramount slotted its DreamWorks-produced "Transformers 3" for July 1, 2011. That will give the next installment in the Steven Spielberg-produced franchise a midweek bow in advance of that year's firecracker of a holiday boxoffice session.

A first sequel — "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" — is set for wide release June 24 and is this summer's most-anticipated studio tentpole. Michael Bay again is directing, with Shia LaBoeuf and Megan Fox reprising their topline roles.

No cast or director information was immediately available on the second "Transformers" sequel.

Separately Monday, Warner Bros. confirmed it has moved up the release date for literary adaptation "The Time Traveler's Wife" from next year to Aug. 14.

To facilitate its move, Warners will delay releasing fantasy sequel "Final Destination: Death Trip 3D" until Aug. 28. "Death Trip" had been set to unspool on Aug. 14; "Traveler's" was an unslotted 2010 title.

Starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, "Traveler's" is a romantic drama based on a best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger. Its screenplay was written by Bruce Joel Rubin ("Stuart Little 2"), with Robert Schwentke ("Tattoo") directing.

Also set to unspool wide on Aug. 14 are Sony's sci-fi thriller "District 9," Summit's youth comedy "Band Slam" and Paramount Vantage's adult laugher "The Goods: The Don Ready Story."

Most of the majors' summer release slates have been locked down for some time, but industryites have anticipated some late-breaking jockeying over one or more August slots. The industry marks its boxoffice summer from the first day in May through Labor Day. (partialdiff)