‘World War Z’ pushed to summer 2013 while ‘Ninja Turtles’ sets opening date

It looks like it will be zombies vs. monsters at the box office next summer, while Ninja Turtles will rule Christmas of 2013.

Paramount Pictures announced today that it’s pushing back the release date of the Brad Pitt-starring zombie thriller “World War Z” from Christmas 2012 to June 21, 2013.

The move puts the film in direct competition with “Monsters University,” the highly-anticipated prequel to Pixar’s smash hit “Monsters Inc.”

“World War Z,” based on Max Brooks’ bestselling oral history of a fictional zombie infestation, will also star Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), “Lost’s” Matthew Fox and Mireille Enos.

Likewise, Paramount has set December 25, 2013 as the release date for their newest take on the comic book franchise “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” For now, Splinter and co. have that date to themselves.

Finally, the studio has announced December 21, 2012 as the opening date of the Tom Cruise thriller “One Shot,” based on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novel series. That move pits Cruise against Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Osama bin Laden thriller. Both films will likely draw from the same older demo, while Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” (Dec. 25, 2012) may draw more from the under-30 crowd.

Tarantino is coming off the $120 million gross for 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds,” which starred Pitt, and “Django” seems to already have significant buzz behind it.

In other Cruise news, the sci-fi thriller “Oblivion,” directed by Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”) has been moved a few months by Universal. It will now open April 26, 2013 instead of the originally planned July 10, 2013.