DreamWorks Animation Pushes ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ to Avoid ‘Star Wars’

DWA moves its powerhouse sequel to 2016 to steer clear of Disney and Lucasfilm’s sci-fi saga

DreamWorks Animation has shifted “Kung Fu Panda 3” to March 18, 2016, to avoid going up against “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“Panda 3” had been set to open on Dec. 23, 2015, five days after Disney releases the J. J. Abrams-directed Lucasfilms epic. The first two “Panda” films were major moneymakers, taking in $1.2 billion at the global box office.

Another DreamWorks Animation film, “Boss Baby,” had been scheduled for the March date that “Panda 3” is taking, so it will be shifted at some point.

“Home,” which is slotted March 27, and “B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations,” set for June 5, are DWA’s other 2015 releases.

This year, Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s company has seen “How to Train Your Dragon 2” hit $618 million at the worldwide box office, while “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” and “Penguins of Madagascar” haven’t met expectations.

DWA has been in recent merger talks, but discussions with toymaker Hasbro and Japan’s Softbank fell through.