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Fox finesses release schedule

'Alvin' sequel set for X-Mas, 'A-Team' to 2010

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel” will nibble on the competish — including Disney toon “The Princess and the Frog — when opening in theaters on Christmas Day 2009.

The sequel’s official name and release date were revealed Thursday as Fox announced a number of changes to its calendar, including pushing back “The A-Team,” which doesn’t have a cast or director, by a year, from June 12, 2009 to June 11, 2010.

John Singleton, who had been attached to direct “A-Team,” has left the project after the studio said it wanted more time to develop the script, which has already gone through a number of rewrites.

Fox also has decided to relocate Dwayne Johnson family pic “Tooth Fairy” from June 2009 to the high-profile Thanksgiving frame. Pic opens Nov. 13.

In exchange, Fox is moving two youth-oriented comedies out of the first quarter of 2009 and into the summer sesh: Chris Columbus’ “I Love You Beth Cooper,” starring Hayden Panettiere, and comedy-adventure “They Came From Upstairs.”

“Beth Cooper” opens July 10, instead of March 27, while “Upstairs” opens July 31, instead of Feb. 13.

The studio believes the changes round out its previously announced summer tentpole sked, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”

In addition to “A-Team,” Fox moved “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief,” directed by Columbus, out of 2009. Pic, about a modern-day man who incurs the wrath of the Greek Gods, will now be released July 2, 2010.

Fox also dated “Ramona,” based on the acclaimed book series, for release on March 19, 2010.

In its new slot, “Tooth Fairy” opens one week before animated kidpic “Planet 51,” voiced by Johnson. “Planet 51” had been set to be released by Warner Bros. in summer 2009, but studio decided to let the pic go after the film’s producers insisted on a November release. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group later picked up U.S. distribution rights.

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