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Making further changes to their upcoming slate, DreamWorks Animation and partner 20th Century Fox are pushing back Kung Fu Panda 3 from Dec. 23, 2015, to March 18, 2016.
Fox says it didn’twant the threequel to get caught in the wake of J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in theaters six days earlier, on Dec. 18. The much-anticipated Star Wars, from Lucasfilms and Disney, is sure to appeal heavily to families over the year-end holidays.
“This is part of our constantly reevaluating the competitive landscape, as we do with all of our films,” said Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson.
Yet the switch likely leaves Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s company with only one theatrical release in 2015 after Home (March 27). DWA is planning to take animated tentpole B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherwordly Operations off the summer 2015 calendar, according to sources, although that film has yet to be officially moved.
Another DWA film, Boss Baby, was already slotted to open on March 18, 2016. The decision to put Kung Fu Panda 3 there means Boss Baby will be moved as well, although a new release date hasn’t been announced yet.
Dec. 11, 1:15 a.m. Updated with quote from Fox.
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Jamie Lee Curtis
Monday Night Football