Even though it’s been ten years since his last fiction film, James Cameron is still a commercial force to be reckoned with until proven otherwise. And while you think his forever-in-development 3-D opus, Avatar, is the film that’s going to demolish his bankability… well, just know that Jeffrey Katzenberg does not agree with you.
At least, that seems to be the message emanating from Dreamworks Animation’s decision to push forward its 2009 3-D animated offering, Monsters vs. Aliens, from May 15 (one week prior to Avatar‘s May 22 launch) to March 27 – though this could just be a practical move prompted by the finite number of screens equipped to handle the burgeoning technology showcased by both films. I don’t know how much Monsters vs. Aliens needs to gross in order to recoup on its presumably gigantic budget, but Fox did well enough in March with the Ice Age movies to suggest that a spring release date (replete with Easter bump) isn’t that ignominious of a concession. Still, I can’t imagine Katzenberg gave up the Shrek date without some gnashing of teeth and chucking of desktop knick knacks.
And, according to this Variety story, there’s another monster on the move: Mark Romanek’s The Wolf Man will now open in early ’09 instead of November ’08. Bummer, but, hey, it’s better they take the time to make it kickass, right? Also shifting release dates is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (better known around these parts as Jesus Lion 3: Stigma Paws). This one’s a mild head-scratcher; the Disney summer tentpole of 2009 will now be its summer tentpole of 2010? Why skip Christmas ’09? Is this not-yet-in-production sequel to the not-yet-finished Prince Caspian already in trouble!?!?
The fact that we’re already worrying about summer 2009 only underscores how potentially shitty summer 2008 is going to be (Indiana Jones and Iron Man hopefully notwithstanding). Not that I care to look that far ahead regardless.