Stephen M. Silverman
April 08, 2003 01:00 PM

For those anxiously anticipating the “American Idol” movie with Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, you’re just going to have to wait. The film, “From Justin to Kelly,” has been pushed back from late April to June 13.

Speaking to the New York Post, a 20th Century Fox spokeswoman explained: “We had the earlier date, but we decided to move the movie because we saw the film and it’s terrific — and we wanted to release it when all the audience is available, when kids are out of school.”

Standard procedure for a Hollywood studio every time a movie’s release date is shifted is to declare that it’s a wonderful movie that a wider audience will be able to enjoy at a later time. Not that this always proves to be the case. (Remember “The Adventures of Pluto Nash”?)

In the case of “American Idol,” there is the momentum of the TV show to consider. The primetime version is currently on a ratings roll — it’s been No. 1 in the Nielsens — despite almost weekly revelations about its contestants having past brushes with the law.

A June release date for the movie would come after a new TV winner is chosen in May and all the hubbub surrounding that announcement would conceivably die down.

As the Post (which, like FOX TV and 20th Century Fox, is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch) observes, the war in Iraq also may have played a role in the movie’s delay, given that box-office grosses were down 10 percent last week over the same week a year earlier.

Clarkson’s publicist tells the Post that the new, June 13 movie release date will not affect the release of Clarkson’s debut CD, “Thankful,” which is due to hit stores next Tuesday, April 15.

Guarini’s first CD is planned for a July release.

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