Tom Hanks film to ship out early to theaters

Mon Dec 3, 2007 2:36pm EST

Tom Hanks in a scene from ''Charlie Wilson's War'' in an image courtesy of Universal Pictures. REUTERS/Handout

Tom Hanks in a scene from ''Charlie Wilson's War'' in an image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Charlie Wilson's War" will take to the box office battlefield a few days earlier than originally scheduled.

The Universal Pictures movie, in which Tom Hanks plays a Texas congressman who becomes involved in covert activities in Afghanistan, will open in more than 2,000 theaters on December 21 rather than waiting until Christmas Day.

The studio said "people are really enjoying the movie," and there was "no reason " not to take advantage of an earlier release slot.

"Charlie" will face off against a crowded field that currently includes Disney's action-adventure sequel "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," Warner Bros.' romance "P.S., I Love You," DreamWorks/Paramount's musical "Sweeney Todd" and Sony's comedy "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story."

Christmas Day will now mark the openings of Fox's "Alien vs. Predator: Requiem," MGM/Weinstein Co.'s "The Great Debaters," and Sony's "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep."

The last two times Christmas and New Year's fell on a Tuesday were 2001 and 1990, so the industry does not have much experience with this particular holiday configuration. But it could potentially add up to two consecutive five-day moviegoing weekends, with school holidays contributing to midweek ticket sales between the two holidays.

Directed by Mike Nichols, "Charlie" also stars Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman and "Enchanted" actress Amy Adams.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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