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TV costars to tussle at the box office

The Week Ahead

January 19, 2004|Patrick Day

It's not Ali vs. Liston, but the coming showdown this Friday between Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace could provide a few bruises -- to the ego, anyway. Both stars of the Fox sitcom "That '70s Show" have competing, although very different, movies opening on the same day.

Kutcher, also famous for his MTV prank show "Punk'd" and his relationship with Demi Moore, stars in "The Butterfly Effect," in which he plays a man who learns to travel back in time and occupy his childhood body to overcome past traumas. The results, of course, prove disastrous for the present.

The film, which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, is a darker turn for the 25-year-old Kutcher, whose last major film, the romantic comedy "Just Married," opened last January.

Taking up the slack from his newly brooding co-star, Grace stars in a romantic comedy, "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!" He plays best friend to a small-town grocery clerk (Kate Bosworth) who wins a contest to date movie star Tad Hamilton, and a love triangle quickly develops.

In the past, the possibility of conflicts like this were avoided by shifting release dates. Leonardo DiCaprio was set to compete against himself in 2002 when two films he starred in -- "Gangs of New York" and "Catch Me If You Can" -- were scheduled to open on Christmas Day. "Gangs" ultimately was shifted five days earlier.

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