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Universal Scared of Batman, Pushes ‘Bourne Legacy’

Who’s afraid of the big black bat?

Universal, apparently. The studio has moved The Bourne Legacy from Aug. 3 to Aug. 10 in order to give its would-be late-summer hit some more breathing room from Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated trilogy-closer, The Dark Knight Rises.

The studio has released the following statement explaining the scheduling move:

Just as THE AVENGERS demonstrated marketplace sustainability that well outpaced traditional patterns earlier this summer, the industry expects a similar trajectory for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.  Moving one week further from its release will give THE BOURNE LEGACY an even greater opportunity to maximize its opening box office potential.  Moving to August 10 will also allow us to extend valuable promotion for the film across all NBCUniversal platforms during the Olympics, which will dominate television and digital audiences beginning July 27.  We are excited about this new chapter in our BOURNE franchise and confident that August 10 is the right date for our film and for our industry as a whole.

Jokes aside, the move is a pretty smart one for Universal. The Dark Knight Rises will likely still be making huge money when “Legacy” comes out as it will be in only its third weekend. If you look at The Avengers, that film made $55 million in its third weekend. If you factor that in (at the least) for “Rises,” the fourth “Bourne” film would likely have to claw just to come in first that weekend. Plus, Sony’s Total Recall already comes out Aug. 3, whereas no action films are schedule for Aug. 10.

“Legacy’s” second week total might take a hit with The Expendables 2 out on Aug. 17, but if Universal believes in its product, it trusts that good buzz will be built that first weekend, and better to not have it stifled by the blockbuster of all blockbusters. The plan to use NBC’s coverage of the Olympics considering they are the same company also makes a world of sense.

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