Now this is confidence – there’s a good three months to go before UK audiences will clap their peepers on Michael Bay’s mega-sequel, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. Yet today Paramount and DreamWorks announced a release date for Transformers 3, in anticipation of box office receipts that Variety types might call ‘boffo’.

That date is July 1, 2012, which means that the Transformers threequel will pretty much have the July 4th weekend to itself. Frankly, it’s hard to envisage any rival studios being ballsy enough to go up against it.

Of course, it’s early days yet for the movie. No deals have been struck for the return of Bay, or stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, while writers haven’t even been hired.

No, this announcement is symptomatic of the increasing need for studios to earmark release dates for their tentpole movies a couple of years before the event. Marvel, of course, announced last week that, amongst other things, they were moving The Avengers to 2012, a year that will already see one of The Hobbit movies.

At this rate, we’ll be able to plan our 2020 weekend activities before the end of the year.

Of course, if Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen doesn’t do as well as expected, this could turn out to be a very foolish bet. But we’d be very surprised if that happens. In the history of sure things, few have looked quite as sure as the total Bayhem coming our way on June 26.