Say what you will about Julie Taymor‘s Across The Universe, but it had an excellent per-screen average last week on only 23 screens. Despite this encouragement, Sony have now decreased the amount of screens for this Friday’s expansion twice, according to Box-Office Mojo. From a reported 700-screen opening Sony trimmed it down to 400 screens and is now, according to BOM, it will open on only 276 screens.

A Sony spokesperson says they’ve “reduced the screen count to help Across The Universe capitalize on its strong word-of-mouth” and that this “has nothing to do with the screen count for Resident Evil.” The off-the-lot view is that Sony is in fact looking to get as many screens as they can for this weekend’s opening of Resident Evil: Extinction, which is tracking very strongly. They’re going for the money whjile the going’s good.