'Monsters,' 'Dawn Treader' Shift Releases

DreamWorks Animation has pushed up the release of the 3-D animated comedy "Monsters vs. Aliens," while Disney has delayed the third "Chronicles of Narnia" film.

"Monsters vs. Aliens," long headed for a May showdown with James Cameron's 3-D "Avatar," will now open on March 27, 2009, where it will have the 3-D landscape all to itself for several months.

"I believe that next generation 3-D will make our CG films even more special and unique," says DreamWorks Animation bigwig Jeffrey Katzenberg. "We are thrilled to have 'Monster vs. Aliens' as the first opportunity for audiences to enjoy this exciting new movie experience. Moving to a March release date, which has proven to be a great slot for family films, allows us to roll out our first 3-D project on the maximum amount of screens as the year's first big event film to hit the market in this new format."

There had been some concerns about sufficient 3-D theater availability for both "Monsters" and "Avatar," but now the DreamWorks film will have a stranglehold on theatrical resources until the May 22 release of "Avatar." Both films had originally planned to share that May 22, but DreamWorks moved its film up a week earlier this summer.

Meanwhile, Disney and Walden Media have pushed "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" back all the way to May 7, 2010. Production on the Michael Apted-directed film had aimed to start this January, but will now begin in summer of 2008 instead.

The second film of the franchise, "Prince Caspian," will open on May 16, 2008.