Universal must be feeling pretty sure about themselves. Though 'Despicable Me 2' isn't due for almost another year (July 3, 2013 to be exact), they've already green lit a spin-off movie, and now that film has a release date. December 14, 2014.

The politics of release dates are always interesting. We've already seen Marvel claim the first week of May for their 'The Avengers 2' even though it's not due out until 2015, and there are already five films set for May 2014 ('The Amazing Spider-Man 2,' the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' reboot, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,' 'Pixels'  and 'The Good Dinosaur'). The reason is simple: May is one of the biggest box office months of the year, and having that date locked up even before a frame of footage is shot can make a box office difference.

December 14 would then be the slot that 'Avatar' launched itself in 2009, and the benefit of that weekend is that the next week will begin the holidays for normal people, and then there's Christmas, which means most of the rest of the year will be filled with families at home with each other - and that's perfect for a film like this.

Currently Disney has an animated film in May ('The Good Dinosaur') and 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' is scheduled for June 20, 2014 (the same weekend that launched 'Brave' this year). Often there's an animated film the first week of November, but whatever that is - if we'll get one - hasn't been slotted yet.

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