http://blog.moviefone.com/media/2006/07/cameron.jpgThe 2007 summer movie season hasn't even begun yet, but we're already receiving news about release date competition for 2009. Yes, 2009. It wasn't enough that we saw such premature territorial battling over Memorial Day, 2008 (Indiana Jones and the Fourth Installment vs. Speed Racer); the studios had to go and start the claim for that kick-off holiday of a whole two years away. There is something more significantly different about this battle, though. Both of the movies scheduled for release on Memorial day in 2009 will only be exhibited in the new 3-D format. 20th Century Fox has James Cameron's Avatar duking it out against Dreamworks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens, which is being planned as that studio's first release to play exclusively in 3-D.

The reason that this is such a noteworthy conflict is that in 2009 there may not be enough 3-D-equipped screens to handle simultaneous 3-D releases. The expected amount of screens that will be able to accommodate a 3-D movie at that time is 5,000 (currently there are only 700 screens able to do so), which doesn't even meet the demands of Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg, who claims he needs 6,000 screens for Monsters. And since Cameron's film is now being said to have a budget close to $200 million, it is assumed that Fox will have a similar demand for its own title. Obviously one of the films will need to move, and it will likely be Monsters. With Avatar being Cameron's first film since Titanic, it is certainly the more eagerly awaited picture and is therefore the most powerful. Expect an announcement sometime in the next year that states that Monsters will relocate to June.