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Power Moves

Bully for them!

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Schedules make it virtually impossible to get to the gym, but real players can flex muscle without a Versa Climber.

Harrison Ford PROBLEM A big boat. Paramount contemplates opening Titanic on the same date as Ford’s Air Force One. POWER MOVE A phone call to Paramount carries implicit message: ”Get off my weekend!” OUTCOME Titanic changes course, partly because movie isn’t ready, partly because Paramount doesn’t want to offend Jack Ryan and Indiana Jones. After all, he is the president.

Garth Brooks PROBLEM He loses friends in high places when EMI-Capitol fires the singer’s fave New York staffers, including Charles Koppelman. POWER MOVE The renegade reins in his Sevens album — scheduled for release in August — forcing the label to trash its $22 million campaign. OUTCOME A tie. Garth blows chance to release seventh album on seventh day of, er, eighth month of 1997. EMI blows chance, period.

Disney PROBLEM Fox horns in on cartoon kingdom with Anastasia. POWER MOVE In response, Disney flexes its Herculean muscle by opening four movies (Flubber and rereleasing The Little Mermaid, George of the Jungle, and Hercules) — within days of Anastasia‘s Nov. 21 opening. OUTCOME To be determined.

Seinfeld cast (excluding Jerry) PROBLEM That chintzy NBC and their $300,000-per-episode offerings. POWER MOVE Pay us $1 million an episode or the show’ll really be about nothing. OUTCOME NBC coughs up $600,000 and the show goes on.

China PROBLEM Disney’s Kundun, a Dalai Lama biopic, makes China look as bad as Cruella de Vil. POWER MOVE China threatens to freeze Disney out of, oh, one billion customers. OUTCOME Disney holds firm and reportedly makes Henry Kissinger a Mouseketeer, advising on Chinese affairs. If it worked for Nixon …

Anna Holmes and A.J. Jacobs