The Marvel/DC release date showdown has come to an end, and it appears that Marvel has come away the victor. Marvel Studios staked out the May 6, 2016 weekend a while ago for an “Untitled Marvel Movie,” but when Warner Bros. went looking for a new release date for its Man of Steel follow-up, it decided to plant its flag on May 6, 2016 as well with the thinking that Marvel would subsequently move. Except Marvel didn’t move, it doubled down by announcing that Captain America 3 would be its May 2016 movie, which was certainly a big deal coming off the stellar opening weekend for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
And so now Warner Bros. has flinched, but instead of delving deeper into the summer, the studio will be trying to kickstart the blockbuster season incredibly early by setting the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice release date on March 25, 2016. If that wasn’t enough, Warner Bros. has announced release dates for 9 untitled DC films and 2 “event films”. More after the jump.
While it’s not a surprise that Warner Bros. moved its film off the May date, it is a surprise that Batman v Superman—one of the most highly anticipated films on tap for the next few years—will be released in March. Though the Winter/Spring divide made for a successful launching pad for The Hunger Games in 2012, Lionsgate opted to release the sequel Catching Fire in November over the Thanksgiving holiday. This past March, the “big” movie was Divergent, and even looking at 2015, there’s nothing even remotely similar to Batman v Superman in terms of scope and audience reach.
Nevertheless, March 25th is what Warner Bros. has settled on for the first feature film showdown between two of the biggest comics characters in history. The new Beverly Hills Cop film is also scheduled for that weekend, but I imagine Paramount will be moving that pic in due time.
The new Batman v Superman date isn’t too far off from the April 4th release of Marvel’s The Winter Soldier, but I’m still kind of baffled that this massive film will be hitting theaters when most kids are still in school. Studios have been trying for years to extend the “summer movie season” beyond the late May to early August window, and while the first weekend in May is now the new traditional start, the goalpost just keeps being moved up. Is this the new normal? I sure hope not.
But the Batman v Superman release date news isn’t all! Taking a page out of Marvel’s book, Warner Bros. has set release dates for 9 untitled DC films and 2 “event films”. Check them out below:
- Untitled DC Film — August 5, 2016
- Untitled DC Film – June 23, 2017
- Untitled DC Film – November 17, 2017
- Untitled DC Film – March 23, 2018
- Untitled DC Film – July 27, 2018
- Untitled WB Event Film – November 16, 2018
- Untitled DC Film – April 5, 2019
- Untitled DC Film – June 14, 2019
- Untitled DC Film – April 3, 2020
- Untitled DC Film – June 19, 2020
- Untitled WB Event Film – November 20, 2020
That’s, uh, ambitious. The only other confirmed DC film in development at Warner Bros. is Justice League, which Zack Snyder will direct after he wraps BvS, but a previous report claimed that Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and a team-up The Flash/Green Lantern movie were in development. Could Warner Bros. beat Sony to the punch and get their own female-led superhero movie in theaters by August 2016? Head to the comments and take a guess as to what films/properties these release dates might correspond to.