Uni shifts 'Land' date


"Land of the Lost" has finally landed on its new date: June 5.

Universal's moving up the tentpole Will Ferrell starrer a month and a half from its July 17 slot is just the latest of several aftershocks registered after Warner Bros.' seismic decision to move back "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from Nov. 21 to July 17. Universal executives knew immediately that they would have to move their family film — which, like the "Potter" sequel, is an action fantasy laden with visual effects — but their decision on a new date was complicated by myriad merchandising and other decisions.

Universal does seem to have gotten a nice summer slot for "Land" in the end, as no other films have been scheduled to open during the first weekend of June. One had been — until Universal moved that as well as "Land."

Universal bounced its "Fast and Furious" — previously titled "The Fast and the Furious 4" — from June 5 to June 12.

"Having looked at the competitive environment, this date seemed to be a perfect date for 'Land of the Lost,' " Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said. "And then moving 'Fast and Furious' seemed to work out well, too."

The target audiences for "Land" and "Fast" are sufficiently distinct that execs are not concerned about any marketplace overlap during the second weekend for "Land," Rocco added.

Based on the classic children's TV show created by Sid and Marty Krofft, "Land" was directed by Brad Silberling ("Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events") from a script by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas. A tale of a family trapped in an alien world populated by cavemen and dinosaurs, "Land" wrapped production this summer. (partialdiff)