WB Moves Batman v Superman to Avoid Marvel Showdown


Earlier this year, Warner Brothers boldly set the release date for their upcoming Man of Steel sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, to be May 6th, 2016 — the same day as a previously unannounced Marvel movie. It was soon revealed that the unannounced Marvel movie was actually Captain America 3, and after Captain America: The Winter Soldier pulled in $95 million on its opening weekend, it was looking like Warner Brothers might be in over their head. Marvel’s Kevin Feige also made it very clear that they would not back down from a fight. Well, now that Guardians of the Galaxy also earned an astounding $94 million, the inevitable happened. Warner Brothers blinked first.

According to a press release from Warner Brothers, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will now hit theatres on March 25th, 2016. That puts the movie up against the Beverly Hills Cop sequel / reboot and religious drama Christ the Lord. Perhaps not coincidentally, all of Zack Snyder’s previous films have been released in March with the exception of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Man of Steel.

Clearly this is an admission of defeat for Warner Brothers and it seems crazy for a movie with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman not to be released during the summer months. However, we’ve seen plenty of movies do well in March including The Hunger Games, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Snyder’s own 300. In a show of confidence, Warner Brothers also set release dates for 9 other unannounced films through to 2020, all of which are assumed to be tied to the DC Universe. What do you think, did Warner Brothers do the right thing?

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  • 1138sw

    Whoa a March release date? Man Warners didn’t just back down they pissed in their pants! Now that is funny!

    They must not have a lot of confidence in their product perhaps? I mean why not move it to a July 4 opening weekend date? Or just move it two weeks down from CA’s opening date. March? Don’t get that for such a big tent pole movie.

  • kent88

    I’m so stoked for Untitled WB Event Film!

    2020 is shaping up to be a killer year for movies.

  • ECONOMYpolitica

    Yeesh. What a crock!

  • Tum Tum Tyranus

    Not necessarily an admission of defeat, as Warner Bros. knows that BvS would’ve destroyed Cap 3. I think it’s more a case of WB wanting the most amount of $ they can get from BvS and going head-to-head with Marvel would take away from that gross.

  • Junker

    July 4 2016 is a Monday and WB has Tarzan coming out July 1st weekend. Studios don’t usually open multiple films on the same weekend, it doesn’t make sense financially. That being said I think they could maybe open Tarzan in March and BvS in July, but maybe Tarzan’s production schedule won’t allow for this.

  • Brittany Gresang

    It’s actually pretty funny. But what I can’t help thinking is…what if the movie is a joke? And with what we know, it certainly could be. Clearly Marvel has this figured out and mostly they are on people’s good side. But what if this Batman vs Superman vs Wonder Woman thingy is a George Lucas Prequels scenario. Sure they’ll make lots of money, but I wonder if they will get their image hurt.

    I guess ultimately they won’t care if they make money. But it will be an interesting phenomenon to see from a film history point of view.

  • Brittany Gresang

    I kind of think Captain America 2 outgrossing Man of Steel played some part.

  • Christopher Harvey

    More revenue for both parties. Makes sense.

  • PlanBFromOuterSpace

    Cap 2 has come close to matching Man of Steel’s domestic take and HAS out-grossed it worldwide, and more importantly it’s a movie that people have had a mostly positive reaction to. With that, and more Cap coming up in Avengers 2 (which may also provide more set-up for Cap 3, which could set up Avengers 3…), that’s the character with all of the momentum, as Man of Steel performed well, but had a bit of a lukewarm reception (and will be three years old at that point) and has the task of serving as the cornerstone of this whole new DC Universe. Combine that with a new version of Batman that fans may or may not take to, and you’ve got a big question mark of a movie that could still go either way. There’s really no way that going head to head would have resulted in anything more than continued success for Marvel, because even if Cap 3 would have lost the showdown (“Destroyed” though? Pllleeeaaasse…), there would still be Avengers 3 and movies for several other characters to look forward to. The machine would keep on going. As far as WB/DC is concerned though, if Batman/SUperman isn’t the biggest thing ever or at least doesn’t make the kind of money that they need and/or want it to make, it could doom or once again set back their plans for all of these solo and Justice League films. I’m going to bet that in the coming days we get some line from WB about how “things are going so smoothly, and we’re so confident in the quality of the project that we’re going to bring it to fans even SOONER than expected!”, nevermind the fact that they’d already bumped it back something like 9 months after already spending years and years trying to figure out how to get the ball rolling in the first place.

  • Anthony

    I guess it makes sense financially, but as a movie goer, I really wanted them to be released on the same day so we could have the comic book movie version of the Monday Night Wars.

  • theo

    It would make sense, considering Captain America 2 is a sequel to a well known and loved franchise/multi franchise….where as Man of Steel is just the first movie, Batman V Superman being the second. The most fair comparisons would be Man of Steel compared to Captain America: the first avenger….
    or Batman V Superman compared to, The Winter Soldier. It’s a smart move on WB’s part, in my opinion. They would make good money on the same day as Captain America 3, but not as much as they would if shown on the same day. That goes for both films. They didnt blink…. they’re just not playing dumb.

  • Puzzy Cutz

    Some nerd I am jealous of quoted Captain America saying, “Before we begin does anyone want to get out?” it’s kind of fun how popular culture keeps chalking up these marketing things as “victories” over DC, as if they were sport teams.

  • theo

    You would think people would be happy to hear news, that a big up coming blockbuster will be coming out sooner than recently planned. But it doesn’t look that way… at least not on this website. This is cool news for crying out loud, and people are treating it like it was supposed to be a showdown. If it were to have been a proper “showdown” it would’ve been something like Captain America: Winter Soldier up against Batman V Superman; considering both are 1st sequels. Of course Captain America 3 is gonna be huge on opening day, due to The Avengers and The Winter Soldier’s success; not to mention the tie in to other Marvel films. DC is just starting with its expanding universe, thanks to Man Of Steel.

    People are acting like they will be expecting a prize for being on whichever side makes more money in the end. In all honesty…. who gives a shit which company makes more money?…. a good movie is a good movie. Period…. can’t folks just be happy it’s coming out sooner than later, than create slander? Rescheduling is a smart and logical move on their part.