Family Film 'Paddington' Moves to Christmas

The Weinstein Co. also dates the Pierce Brosnan-Owen Wilson thriller "The Coup" for spring, and pushes animated family film "Underdogs" from August to winter.

In an aggressive play, The Weinstein Co. and Dimension Films will open British film Paddington on Christmas Day instead of its original date, Dec. 12.

The CGI/live-action film is based on Michael Bond's beloved children's book about the misadventures of a Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. But life isn't all he imagined it would be until he meets the kindly Brown family, who take him in after reading the label on his neck: "Please look after this bear." Trouble starts brewing again, though, when he's spotted by a museum taxidermist.

PHOTOS: The Scene at Cannes 2014

Colin Firth voices the character Paddington in the film, which is from Harry Potter producer David Heyman.

Paul King directed Paddington from his adapted script. Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi also star in the upcoming movie about the bear who loves marmalade sandwiches. 

STORY: 'Paddington' Movie Set for Christmas 2014 Release

Paddington faces a crowded market for family fare, and opens less than a week after Sony's Annie and Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb roll out Dec. 19. And it debuts directly opposite Disney's Christmas Day entry Into the Woods, the big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's stage musical with a  star-studded cast that includes Meryl Streep.

In other news, TWC announced it is pushing Juan Campanella's animated film Underdogs from Aug. 27 to Jan. 16, 2015, and has set a nationwide release date of March 6 for The Coup, starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell. Harvey Weinstein's outfit bought rights to the international thriller last month at the Cannes Film Festival.