Weinstein Co.'s 'Paddington' Exits Christmas

UPDATED: Ben Whishaw voices the iconic bear

The Weinstein Co. has moved CGI, live-action family film Paddington off the crowded Christmas weekend, setting it instead for release on Jan. 16, 2015.

Weinstein Co. has also moved animated family comedy Underdogs from that Jan. 16 date to April 10, 2015.

Paddington is based on Michael Bond's beloved children's book about the misadventures of a Peruvian bear.

Colin Firth was originally signed on to voice the iconic bear, but he voluntarily dropped out of the project in June. "It's been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn't have my voice," the actor said in a statement at the time.

Ben Whishaw was later hired to voice the bear. The live-action actors include Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Nicole Kidman.

The Christmas weekend is often a crowded and competitive time to open, with other 2014 wide releases including Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Disney's Into the Woods, comedy The Interview and war drama Unbroken.

On its new date over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Paddington will open up against thriller Blackhat and the Kevin Hart-starring comedy The Wedding Ringer.

Underdogs, from Argentinean director Juan Jose Campanella, centers on a shy but talented foosball player. The cast includes Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Morrison and Katie Holmes.

On its new April date, the film opens against the Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride and Paramount's The Moon and the Sun.