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Hollywood Trend Watch: The movie biz goes fourth

”Shrek Forever After,” ”Scream 4,” ”Austin Powers 4,” and more fourth installments of major movie franchises

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You know what they say: they say: Fourth time’s the charm. Well, actually, they don’t say that anywhere except in Hollywood, where several major movie franchises are preparing their fourth installments. First up, Shrek Forever After hits screens May 21; Scream 4 (slated for April 2011), American Pie 4, and Austin Powers 4 will follow — all have gotten the green light. Other franchises mulling fourths: Bourne and High School Musical. And while the three-movie franchise certainly isn’t dead, some — like celebrity numerologist Tania Gabrielle — think it’s no surprise the pendulum has swung four-ward. ”Four is a very powerful number,” Gabrielle says. ”It means manifestation.” Huh? ”The people who release movies understand numbers,” Gabrielle explains, ”and they know that this number will manifest for them.” And by ”manifest,” Hollywood can only hope she means ”clean up at the box office.”

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