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‘Paddington’ Shifts to Christmas Release, ‘Underdogs’ Decamps for 2015

Paddington,” the lovable bear with a hankering for marmalade sandwiches, will try to win the hearts of Christmas moviegoers, the Weinstein Company said Tuesday.

The studio will shift its film adaptation of Michael Bond’s children’s book classics from Dec. 12, 2014, to Christmas Day, historically one of the film business’ most important periods.

In addition, the studio is pushing back the release of the animated comedy “Underdogs” from Aug. 27, 2014, to Jan. 16, 2015. It also said it will release “The Coup,” a thriller with Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson, on March 6, 2015.

In its new slot, “Paddington” faces formidable competition from the likes of “Into the Woods,” the Tim Burton drama “Big Eyes” and Cameron Crowe’s next film. It also will square off against “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” and “Annie,” both of which open on Dec. 19, 2014, and will appeal to families.

In its old position, the major films “Paddington” would have opened against were Ridley Scott’s “Exodus” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”

“Underdogs” involves toy figures from a foosball table who come to life to save a village from a town bully. In its original release date, it would have faced off against the Pierce Brosnan thriller “The November Man.” In its new 2015 date, it will head off against Michael Moore’s untitled cybercrime thriller and the bigscreen version of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

“The Coup” will debut against the Vince Vaughn comedy “Business or Pleasure” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.”

All three Weinstein Company films will be released wide.

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