Disney on Thursday announced a Christmas Day 2014 release for its Johnny Depp-Meryl Streep musical "Into the Woods," setting up a showdown with Sony's "Annie" remake, which is also scheduled to open on that day.
Setting the date for the Rob Marshall-directed musical, which also stars Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal, was one of several moves announced by Disney.
The studio also said that:
>> "Saving Mr. Banks," the story behind the making of "Mary Poppins" which stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, will receive a limited release on Dec. 13 of this year. Its previously announced Dec. 20 wide release date is unchanged.
>> "Muppets Most Wanted" will be the title of the sequel to 2011's "The Muppets." Its March 21, 2014 release date remains unchanged. Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey star in the international crime caper.
>> "Planes: Fire and Rescue," the studio's animated follow-up to this summer's "Planes," will be released on July 18 in 3D.
>> "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" will open wide on Oct. 10, 2014. Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner will star in the adaptation of the Judith Viorst children's book.
>> "Tomorrowland," the Brad Bird-directed sci-fi film starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, will move from Dec. 19, 2014, from Dec. 12 that same year. Bird and Damon Lindelof are writing and producing. That moves it a week ahead of "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" and Universal's untitled minions project, the third entry in the "Despicable Me" franchise.
>> "The Hundred-Foot Journey," the DreamWorks adaptation directed by Lasse Hallstrom, will open wide on Aug. 8, 2014. It's based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, which follows a lowly Indian chef who conquers the elite world of French haute cuisine. Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake are producing.
>> Two untitled Marvel movies have been set for May 6, 2016, and May 5, 2017. The first week in May has served as the launch pad for two of the studio's Marvel blockbusters, last year's "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3" this year. The sequel to "The Avengers' is set for May 1, 2015.