If it's crap ... We'll tell you
In response to favorable 3D screenings of 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon', Paramount Pictures has decided to move up the release date for the Bay-helmed threequel from Friday, July 1st to Wednesday, June 29th. While this may seem like a logistical nightmare this late in the game (especially since all the marketing materials say July 1st), there are a couple reasons for the move:
1) Box office. While most data sites don't count early openings into "weekend totals" (depending on the site), those extra couple of days before the actual weekend often help films gather up a quick cash grab right off the bat and pad their first week numbers (especially at the nigh-insane 3D ticket prices). A similar move was made with 'Transformers 2' as well as the 'Twilight' films.
2) Competition. With 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2' opening up two weeks later on July 15th (poised to knock 'Transformers' off the top of the list), the studio is most likely trying to get in as many days as they can before then to maximize their profits. Plus, the only real films that are opening the weekend before (June 24th) are a kids movie ( 'Cars 2') and a rom-com ('Bad Teacher'). Placing an action movie closer to those openings - while not directly competing with the Disney/Pixar marketing machine - is a smart move for the company.
3) Public Relations. Opening up a film midweek can often help diffuse a possible "hit-or-miss" scenario. As is always the case with huge summer blockbusters, bad press can sometimes sink a film quickly. Opening up a few days early (when most people have to work) can often mean that the die-hard fans of the series will see it early and start word-of-mouth campaigns for the film.
'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' - starring Shia Lebeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Josh Duhamel - opens early on June 29th in all markets except China and Japan (which will still open on the 1st).