'Alvin and the Chipmunks 4' Will Now Brave Opening Opposite 'Star Wars: Force Awakens'

Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
'Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip'

The latest installment in the family franchise is moving up its release by five days in order to take advantage of school vacation for the year-end holidays.

Fox has tweaked its plans for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, moving up the film's release by five days to Dec. 18 — the same day that J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters.

The fourth installment in the family franchise had been set to debut Dec. 23, a Wednesday. By going out earlier, the film gets to take advantage of school vacation that Monday and Tuesday.

Road Chip will play younger than Star Wars, thanks to its kid-friendly PG rating. Force Awakens, from Lucasfilm and Disney, will go out with a PG-13 rating.

All of Hollywood is resigned to the fact that the Star Wars reboot will be a box-office goliath. At the same time, the two weeks around Christmas are the most concentrated of the year in terms of moviegoing, allowing for numerous movies to prosper and see huge multiples should they click with audiences. In 2010, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel racked up $156 million between its debut on Dec. 23 and Jan. 3. A year later, threequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked opted to go out on Dec. 16.

This year, the big unknown is how much of the oxygen Force Awakens will take up, regardless of exactly when other 2015 holiday titles are debuting.

The other film set to open nationwide on Dec. 18 is Sisters, Universal's comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. On Dec. 25, Sony's Will Smith drama Concussion launches nationwide alongside Paramount comedy Daddy's Home, starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, and Fox and New Regency's Joy, directed by David O. Russell and starring Jennifer Lawrence. Opening in limited engagements are Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, from The Weinstein Co., and Alejandro G. Inarritu's The Revenant, another Fox entry.

Road Chip has the advantage of being the only PG film opening over the holidays.

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