"Ghost Rider" Leaps from July '06 to February '07

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Sony's rather expensive "Ghost Rider" adaptation, which stars Nicolas Cage as a flame-headed butt-kicker from beyond the grave, will now have a few extra months to work on his chopper. The studio recently announced that the Rider won't make his debut until early 2007.

Says Variety: "The studio's $120 million Nicolas Cage starrer "Ghost Rider," based on the Marvel comicbook, has been bumped from its July 14, 2006, release date to President's Day weekend (Feb. 16) 2007.

Move won't likely be the last for Sony, which still has six other pics to unspoolunspool during the upcoming summer months. Sony has 28 pics lined up for 2006 from its five divisions (Columbia, Screen Gems, TriStar, Revolution and MGM).

Sony's other summer '06 pics include Columbia's "The Da Vinci Code" (May 19); Col/Revolution's "Click" (June 23); Sony Pictures Animation's "Monster House" (July 21); Col's Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy (Aug. 4); and Revolution's Tim Allen starrer "Zoom" (Aug. 11) and "Little Man" (May 26).

"I think everybody is looking at their release schedules in '06 and trying to avoid some of the traffic jams," Sony vice chairman Jeff Blake told Daily Variety. "Seven films for a summer is a lot."

Marvel Studios must now undo a carefully laid out plan of ancillary tie-in deals. Company declined comment on the matter. New release date gives the studio an expensive action pic with which to start 2007."
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What says the court of Tomato opinion? Insightful release date strategy -- or a big, fat turkey?

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