.As most of you are now aware, the release calendar is a lot different today than it was five years ago. A few horror flicks turned January and February into golden spots and films like The Matrix turned late March into a goldmine and the unofficial beginning of the blockbuster season. People can piss and moan all they want about a box office lull, but these are not temporary new Hollywood rules but rather a phenomenon that has led to a change in how films are marketed.

James Gunn’s Slither, a film we’re already jazzed as heck about (see an amazing clip of footage we debuted here) might just be slipping from one prime slot to another. The rumor is that the film will debut on March 31st of 2006, a truly meaty spot. This means two things:

1. The studio is really confident in the picture. Gunn wrote the Dawn of the Dead remake that made a killing in a similar slot.

2. James and gang will be able to tweak and polish the film and make sure the effects are just right.

Both are good signs for the film, though it does suck for folks like us who are dying to see the gristle and fun moments alluded to in the clip above. Still, I’d take a March slot over a January one ten times out of ten.

In addition to that news, here’s another exclusive new pic from the film, one where we either see Michael Rooker recovering from a horrid sneeze or the beloved character actor dealing with a gloopy object before it gets to him and things get icky.

Either way, consider your Slither jones satiated for now.

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