With the writers strike resolved, Disney is the latest studio to rejigger and give more shape to its release calendar through 2009 and the early part of 2010.
The Mouse House has staked out opening dates for a cluster of films, including laffer "Old Dogs," filmmaker Walt Becker's follow-up to sleeper box office hit "Wild Hogs," "Dogs" with a cast including John Travolta, Robin Williams and Seth Green bows April 10, 2009. "Wild Hogs" opened in spring as well.
In a counterprogramming maneuver, Disney's "The Hannah Montana Movie" will debut May 1, 2009, opposite 20th Century Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."
Looking to Thanksgiving 2009, futuristic cop actioner "Surrogates," starring Bruce Willis, will unspool the weekend before the holiday on Nov. 20, 2009.
During the Writers Guild walkout, studios weren't in a position to begin rounding out their slates for 2009 or move pictures around, since continuity in the production pipeline was uncertain. Now, however, the majors are relatively confident that a new deal can be struck with actors without a walkout this summer.
Last week, Paramount made a number of moves, including relocating J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" from Christmas to May 2009.
Disney is the second studio to make a multitude of changes. It rejiggered release dates for titles including action-adventure "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," which will now open June 16, 2009, instead of July 10, 2009.
The move means that "Prince of Persia" will open ahead of Par's "Transformers 2" (June 26, 2009) and "Ice Age III" (July 1, 2009) vs. bowing in their wake.
As a result of claiming May 1, 2009, for "Hannah Montana" Disney moved 3-D pic "G-Force" out of that slot to July 24. That's the second 3-D title to bow on that date after the Weinstein Co. horror entry "Piranha 3D."