December 10th, 2010
This will see the franchise return to its original winter release date: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was released on December 9th, 2005 but for some reason they decided to change that up for the second film, which came out on May 16th 2008 - and made only $141 million (which was only about half what the first one made).
Is that a sign that established franchises are better released where there is no other competition? After all the same thing happened with the Harry Potter franchise - they normally were released in November each year and when they tried to change that and release a couple in the summer at least one of them didn't make as much money (the fifth flick Order of the Phoenix made the most of any of the sequels worldwide even being released in July, but that was due to the book rather than the release date).
I'll bet you Walden Media were thanking their lucky stars Fox stepped in after Walt Disney pulled out - I'm sure with the back to winter release date they have plus that date being free of competition (for the time being anyway - although I'm pretty sure not many others would want to go head to head with a Narnia film) will go some way to getting the franchise back on some sort of track.
However only time will tell if Voyage of the Dawn Treader will do better than the last film - do you think it will?