Dreamworks claims the bump up is due to a desire to distribute on the most screens possible, banking on the fact that at least 5,000 theaters will be 3-D equip by then. The studio also points out that the spring month has proved to be a good time for family films. Well, yes, but the summer has obviously been pretty good for giant family films like those Dreamworks' own Shrek films. If I wanted to be cynical about the move -- and I rarely miss an opportunity to be a cynic -- then I might throw it out there that Dreamworks is truly afraid of Avatar, particularly fearful that Cameron's new 3-D cinematography will be so good that it will make the 3-D in Monsters vs. Aliens look like a throwback. This could very well not be the case; Dreamworks' own next-generation 3-D technology is likely to be very impressive, too, and surely the kiddies will not be comparing the two films anyway. That's our job.
So, in case you don't have a 2009 calendar, make one out of construction paper and brass fasteners, and then pencil in (Dreamworks could always change its mind again in the next 18 months) March 2. Monsters vs. Aliens will be the studios' first animated film produced in 3-D -- rather than modified after production -- and will be a sort of comic reinvention of old monster movies. Shrek 2's Conrad Vernon and Shark Tale's Rob Letterman are directing.