Thanks for the input.
I am afraid I was not clear in one aspect: I already have the electronics and speakers running in the mentioned configuration and was surprised that it worked so well with some test scenes from movies. (Denon x8500)
– I have configured and placed the monitors as front wides at the correct position for front wides
– I have placed the side surrounds slightly more behind the listening position but still according to the recommendations in the arendal manual.
– The receiver indeed automatically splits the signals to the speakers as described in my first post and sends surround signals to the front wides as well (Confirmed with a test sequence from a test blu ray)
– I like it better compared to using the monitors as rear surrounds and placing the surrounds at 100-110 degrees so far but I am still in the process of testing.