'Beauty and the Beast' 3D bumped one year
Studios are shoring up their 2011 slate with tentpoles.“Transformers” will return that summer, with Paramount dating the third installment of the franchise on July 1, 2011, with Michael Bay once again at the helm. Meanwhile, Disney has moved the 3D update of its hand-drawn classic “Beauty and the Beast” from next year to 2011. Bay announced the new “Transformers” date on his website, saying he’s begun meeting with ILM, Hasbro and scribe Ehren Kruger to hash out plans for the pic with the toymaker, which serves as a producer. Franchise stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are also back. “Beauty and the Beast” had been slated for release Feb. 12, 2010, but the new date coincides with the 20th anniversary of the pic’s release, allowing the studio to hype the new version of the film and make it more of an event movie. Disney already had skedded “Cars 2” to roll into theaters June 2011, so “Beast” is likely to bow during the holidays, when it initially unspooled in 1991. With a timeframe for when the robots of “Transformers” will stomp into theaters again, the 2011 summer sesh is filling up with high-profile properties. A fourth “Spider-Man” kicks off in May, followed by “Thor” and “The Hangover 2” that month. June has the launch of “The Green Lantern” and a “Kung Fu Panda” sequel, while July features the second part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “The First Avenger: Captain America,” “Battleship” and “The Smurfs.” Disney also plans to bow “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” some time that summer.