Just yesterday, ComingSoon reported that DreamWorks Animation had shifted release dates for the sequels to two of its successful movies. The Croods 2 and Puss In Boots: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves, both originally set to be released in November of 2017 and 2018 respectively, are now set to release the weekend before Christmas. The Croods 2 will bow on December 22, 2017, while Puss In Boots: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves will follow a year later on December 21, 2018.
This is not the first time this year that DWA decided to change release dates. Earlier in May, DWA swapped release dates for The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home, the reason being that a franchise film like Penguins would stand out during during Thanksgiving holiday (makes sense given that Big Hero 6 bows that same month) while Home would take advantage of a less competitive Spring release window.
While no explanation has been given for this development, one can look to their original dates for hints as to what may have caused the shift.
The Croods 2 would’ve originally had to face competition with untitled films from Marvel/Disney and Warner Bros/DC as well as Illumination Entertainment’s animated adaptation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, while Puss In Boots: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves would’ve had to face off against another untitled Marvel film and an untitled WB ‘event film’.
So it’s most definitely possible that DWA shifted the dates so that these films would not have to face heavy competition, on top of obviously taking advantage of the Christmas holiday season (although Avatar 3 is still set for a December 2017 release window).
Not that DWA isn’t taking any brave chances. Kung Fu Panda 3 will release five days after Star Wars: Episode VII, while How To Train Your Dragon 3 will release on the same day as Pixar’s Finding Dory. It will be interesting to see whether or not DWA sticks to their guns on either of those dates.