September 19, 2007–To avoid competition with James Cameron's 3-D actioner “Avatar” in May 2009, DreamWorks Animation decided to relocate 3-D toon “Monsters vs. Aliens” to March 27, 2009 and make it Easter release.
It marks the first time in company's history that it has unspooled a tentpole in the spring, instead of summer. DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, who announced the date change, said it made no sense to have two 3-D projects battling it out, considering there will still be only limited number of screens able to exhibit 3-D.
DWA claimed date of May 22, 2009 in November, but plans changed in February when Fox moved in and selected the same date for “Avatar,” Cameron's first feature since “Titanic.”
Katzenberg said that DWA decided to move the toon out of May completely. “Monsters” will now look to take advantage of the Easter holiday, which falls on April 12. DWA hopes to mimic the success Fox enjoyed when bowing toon “Ice Age” and, more specifically, sequel “Ice Age: The Meltdown” around Easter. “In 2009, summer begins on March 29,” Katzenberg quipped.
Exhibitors estimate that by 2009, there could be around 6,000-8,000 screens equipped for 3-D, though most of those screens will be in larger cities.