DreamWorks has moved up the release of its digitally animated feature “Antz” from March 1999 to Oct. 2, 1998, the company told exhibitors recently. The move puts the film into theaters seven weeks ahead of Buena Vista’s digital ant toon, “A Bug’s Life.”
“Since we’ve had the trailers in theaters, ‘Antz’ has created a lot of interest from exhibitors,” said Jim Tharp, DreamWorks distribution topper. “After seeing a rough cut, October seems like the perfect date.”
“Antz” is a comedy featuring the voice of Woody Allen as an individualist ant who reluctantly leads a colony of drones to revolt. “A Bug’s Life” is about a misfit ant who tries to save his colony from a greedy gang of grasshoppers.
Asked whether the date change was meant to beat Disney to the punch, Tharp said, “The movies are so different. ‘Bug’s Life’ was never really a consideration.”
Buena Vista execs declined to comment.