Album moves up five days to March 3.

Now that Universal Music & Video Distribution has moved the release date of 50 Cent's album "The Massacre" up five days to Thursday, March 3, the distributor is scrambling to ensure that the initial shipment of 2.8 million units reaches retailers on time.

The release of the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album was moved up from the original March 8 date after bootleg copies emerged on street corners in Boston, Chicago and Atlanta, among other markets, say sources in the Universal Music Group camp.

Despite anti-bootlegging efforts by the label, including the manufacturing delivery of the master one week later than is typically normal, UMVD is now pinched for time in the wake of the illegal copies. In an effort to maintain the sanctity of the new street date, UMVD is warning its retail and wholesale accounts against placing the album for sale before March 3.