Instead, the Zac Efron supernatural romance 'Charlie St. Cloud,' once scheduled for October 15, will take the July 30 date. That odd shift will pit Efron against Vanessa Hudgens, who has her own supernatural romance, 'Beastly,' opening the same day. (How will 'High School Musical' fans choose?) 'The Adjustment Bureau' was going to be Matt Damon's big summer movie, but the title may be a more apt name for the scheduling department at Universal. The studio released a reshuffled release schedule on Tuesday, and among its musical-chairs movie premiere dates is a shift of Damon's movie from Jul. 30 into an increasingly busy fall season, landing on Sept. 17.
Instead, the Zac Efron supernatural romance 'Charlie St. Cloud,' once scheduled for October 15, will take the July 30 date. That odd shift will pit Efron against Vanessa Hudgens, who has her own supernatural romance, 'Beastly,' opening the same day. (How will 'High School Musical' fans choose?)
The Universal release schedule, as reported by Deadline Hollywood and others, does not explain the date shifts. 'Adjustment Bureau,' based on a Philip K. Dick story, features Damon and Emily Blunt as a politician and a ballerina whose tentative romance is thwarted by hidden conspiratorial forces. As a sci-fi thriller, it seems a natural summer movie, especially since its only competition on Jul. 30 would have been 'Beastly' and the family-oriented sequel to 'Cats and Dogs.' September, however, often seems like a no-man's-land (no longer summer fluff season, not-yet-weighty Oscar drama season), a dumping ground for movies studios can't figure out how to market properly. For 'Adjustment,' the Sept. 17 date will see the movie competing with Damon pal Ben Affleck's heist thriller 'The Town' and social-networking documentary 'Catfish,' released by Universal's quasi-indie banner Rogue.
The other big change on the schedule include the shift of medieval comedy 'Your Highness' (starring James Franco, Zooey Deschanel and Danny McBride) a full six months, from Oct. 1 to Apr. 8, 2011. The October date was already looking crowded with movies aimed at the young and hip: 'The Social Network' (David Fincher's film about the founding of Facebook) and 'Let Me In' (the American adaptation of Swedish cult vampire hit 'Let the Right One In').
The schedule also sets a release date of Jan. 14 for the Ron Howard infidelity comedy whose working title is 'Cheaters,' starring Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, and Winona Ryder. It'll open opposite superhero saga 'The Green Hornet' and horror tale 'The Cabin in the Woods.'
Also on Universal's early 2011 schedule: a February 11 release for 'The Night Chronicles: Devil,' a horror film written and produced by M. Night Shyamalan and set in an office tower's elevator; and a March 4 date for 'Sanctum,' a 3-D underwater adventure produced by James Cameron.
And then there's something on the schedule called 'Ballers,' set for November 2011. No one seems to know anything about this movie, but we'll guess it's not Meryl Streep's next Oscar contender.