Even though Americans like to pretend that soccer doesn't matter, Hollywood freely admits that it truly is a matter of life and death - financially speaking, at least. In anticipation of this summer's World Cup (which, for those of you who don't like sports where you can't use your hands, takes place in Germany from June 9 to July 9), therefore, most of the big releases slated for this summer are being carefully scheduled to avoid June. Why? Because no men in Europe (Or, for that matter, in Africa. Or Central and South America.) goes to movies when international soccer is on TV. Seriously - these people know what's important.

As a result, movies like Mission: Impossible III, The Da Vinci Code, and X-Men: The Last Stand, which would normally be thrown into theaters to kick off studio summer seasons are bowing on unusually early May dates. Meanwhile, other studios are holding onto their releases until the last week of the Cup, which is when both Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will debut. Though they're willing to compete in most territories with the semis and the final (when only four teams are left, the games don't come as fast and furious as they do during the group stages, so the conflicts are reduced), Warner Brothers and Disney are holding those releases back in France, Germany, and Spain, where fighting the power of soccer was (quite reasonably) determined to be pointless.