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Twentieth Century Fox’s chipmunks are plotting their third outing — and this time, they’ll be in 3D.

Studio has set a release date of Dec. 16, 2011 for “Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D.”

Right now, the threequel has the date to itself. Set to open a week later on Dec. 23 is Steven Spielberg’s 3D family entry “Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of Unicorn.”

The “Alvin” franchise has been a lucrative one for Fox, New Regency and Bagdasarian Pictures. The first film, released in 2007, grossed $361.3 million worldwide. Last year’s “Squeakquel” brought in $429.8 million worldwide.

First film, released in Dec. 14, 2007, grossed $217.3 million domestically and $144 million overseas for a total $361.3 million. “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” opening last Dec. 23, grossed $217.4 million domestically and $212.4 million overseas for a total $429.8 million.