Warner Bros. Not Considering Moving ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Release Date ‘At This Time’

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Batman vs Superman vs Captain America Warner Bros. Not Considering Moving Batman vs. Superman Release Date At This Time

At the start of the year Warner Bros. announced that the untitled Man of Steel sequel (Batman vs. Superman) needed more development time. Since it was originally positioned in a late summer date already, and the 2015 fall season is jam-packed with blockbusters, that meant pushing it all the way back to summer 2016. The studio took a rather aggressive approach and decided to place the sure-fire success in the first May summer weekend, right up against an unannounced Marvel Studios production that had claimed the date months earlier.

It was an odd and bold move. Warner Bros. typically schedules their DC Comics adaptations in June and July, and for a decade and a half, Marvel-branded features from Fox, Sony and Marvel have traditionally taken May dates. Warner Bros. was presumably expecting Marvel – backed by Disney – to move away. We think.

Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige, while promoting the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, said he and Marvel had no intentions of moving. And he wasn’t joking. After breaking box office records and becoming the biggest April opening of all-time, Marvel was quick to make Captain America 3 official, putting in in that May 2016 slot.

Unannounced Captain America 3 Logo Warner Bros. Not Considering Moving Batman vs. Superman Release Date At This Time

It was no surprise since it was already public knowledge that writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo were all confirmed to be back, already breaking the story for the followup. The directors even told us they were going to be shooting the film in 2015, meaning it would be one of Marvel’s two 2016 releases. Since we know the formula is to release a sequel first, followed by a new property, it was a given that Cap 3 was Marvel’s first 2016 release.

So now we’re in a spot where Marvel isn’t moving for a pile of reasons I mentioned on the Screen Rant Underground podcast weeks ago. What will Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment do in response? Bloomberg spoke with Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., and got his thoughts on the opening May summer weekend competition.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense for two huge superhero films to open on the same date but there is a lot of time between now and 5/6/16. However at this time, we are not considering a change of date for ‘Batman vs. Superman.’”

While fans would love the idea of seeing Captain America 3 and the Man of Steel followup back-to-back in the same weekend, studios and theater chains would not. Both films will be in 3D and there’s a limited amount of screens available. Most moviegoers wouldn’t see both in the same weekend, so the dual release would involve each film cannibalizing each other. For Warner Bros., who at this point are only releasing a single DC Comics film every few years (this will hopefully change post-BvS), they can’t afford to share a weekend, and Disney-Marvel isn’t going to hand it over, since they’re pumping out two releases annually as part of a larger plan, and making sure there’s space between releases for Fox and Sony’s Marvel-branded tentpole releases as well.

Marvel vs DC Justice League Avengers Team Up Warner Bros. Not Considering Moving Batman vs. Superman Release Date At This Time

Warner Bros. has already shown that the release dates of their Superman flicks are flexible, delaying both once already. Batman vs. Superman will move and that likely means another delay, either to June where Man of Steel released, July where The Dark Knight films saw success or perhaps to the fall. Although, that would make an already long wait even longer for fans. Could WB try moving it earlier and seek out an April date that Captain America 2 just saw success at?

Batman vs. Superman is going to be a massive release for Warner Bros, and Captain America is increasing in popularity with the success of The Winter Soldier and the boost from The Avengers: Age of Ultron. They each need their own weekend. Like Fellman says, there’s lots of time before that weekend and lots of things can change. One of the films will move. You can guess which.


More: The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting


Batman vs. Superman and Captain America 3 are scheduled for May 6, 2016.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Bloomberg

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. The Winter Soldier is the first Marvel movie I felt completely satisfied paying the ticket price for. Man of Steel on the other hand wasn’t even worth the time spent watching from Netflix. I know which will be getting my dollar regardless of whether they actually open on the same day or not.

    • Right..because the first captain america was the greatest movie disney ever made..haha you biased shiit.

  2. its hilarious for marvel i think… for the fans its epic…. but wb and dc cannot afford to take a loss like marvel. dc needs every movie they make for dc to be successful and especially if its 1 movie every 3 years. they quit the DCU because GL failed and if this doesnt beat mos then i dont see them continuing.

    its smart for dc to movie if they wanna make a universe and marvel can stay because they were first and can afford to take a loss

    • Foget these 2 movies. What we ought to get is a Marvel VS D.C. flick.

  3. I agree that Cap 3 can’t really compete with SvB, at least not cap by himself. But let’s say Marvel made the subtitle/story: Captain America vs. Iron Man? (perhaps a prelude to Civil War). Holy sh**, I just might go see that before SvB.

    And for the person who said that nothing could stand in the way of a SvB film (in terms of box office, I presume), I disagree. What if…just bear with me here…what if instead of Captain America 3, the movie was Avengers 3? (I’m just saying hypothetically, because I know that can’t happen with the set in stone release dates and production schedules) Couldn’t an Avengers 3 movie take on SvB and maybe even win? Avengers 3: Infinity Gauntlet. Yeah, I’d go see that before SvB!

  4. Marvel can take the hit… DC can’t, but Batman is such a big draw… Who will move? I think DC…

    • Exactly. WB has put all of their eggs into this 1CBM basket. To them, BvS MUST pass the Billion dollar mark.

      Business-wise it’s suicide going head to head. Saner heads will prevail at the end of the day. WB will move.

      • Everybody will flock to see batman..it’s a fact you marvel fan-girl.

  5. The Summer release date is more for kids and adolescents who don’t study full time during the summer and therefore have more time to watch the films repeatedly (bringing more money for the studio).

    But probably DC will move to 6 weeks later into June. Why not? Let them make the money BUT BUT BUT in return they have to release more movies sooner than 3 years because they’re forcing fans to wait so long for B vs S. In fat, they should be planning now for a WW and Batman release dates.

  6. So much useless speculation on who will do what on this topic.

    Here’s the bottom line: One of these movies will move their date. End of. Who cares who moves, we’re being treated to at least two awesome movies in 2016 (which by the way, is bloody ages away!).

    Let the BO results be what they are, what you only need to focus on is whether YOU want to see the movie(s), or not. The rest of it is out of your hands I’m afraid. It really is. No matter how much you think Batfleck will suck or wonder whether the Russo’s can shape + direct another top notch Cap feature.

    Bottom line: both of these movies are going to be awesome. BvsS will bring us something unique which we’ve never seen before (I truly believe that), and Marvel will make a number of awesome movies until then.

    As an audience, we win.

  7. I predict a draw in the U.S domestic market for both films. But the key factor will be the International market, especially in Europe & East Asia.

    I can’t wait for this summer’s Comic Con. I expect both DC & Marvel coming out with big,big announcements. Also all of the actors from both companies will come out in droves to promote their respective movies.

  8. If neither one of the movies decide to move their dates, I see Batman vs. Superman winning the BO on that weekend, but Cap 3 beating it the second weekend, and so on.

    • It will only be a 2-3 week race because after that, other big movies are releasing like an X-Men and TASM 3. This is why I think one of them needs to move. It just doesn’t make business sense. If no one moves, then no matter what happens, Marvel wins because it will divide the general public moviegoers from seeing one or the other. Stay put will more than likely guarantee that BvS will not hit the $1 billion mark and I would bet everything that WB wants the movie to hit that mark or else they would consider it a failure. No, it’s too much of a risk and therefore I think WB/DC will end up moving dates at the end of the year.

  9. WB/DC should just move SvsB on the first weekend of April instead of going head-to-head with Cap3 if they hope to maximize it’s potential earnings. It will undoubtedly crush any other movie coming out of that month and will be #1 at the tills for 3, maybe 4 weekends.

  10. Superman vs. Batman is clear to move here !
    Don’t think it has any real chance against Cap 3 !

  11. WB/DC will have to move or they will be crushed. Period.

  12. If both of these comic book movies really open on May 6, 2016, then the proverbial thinking is that they won’t make much money at the box office as they originally hoped.
    Business-wise, it is not good. I’d look for Warners to move their release date for the BatmanVsSuperman movie . At the end of the day, this is still a business and movie studios make movies in order to make money – “profit” is the bottomline here , ladies and gentlemen.

  13. Captain America 3 will mop the floor with BvS. Captain America is the true leader of the Avengers and have a breath taking story and amazing villian.

  14. I for one am glad that they’re not moving. I’d certainly lose respect on them if they don’t have enough faith on DC’s big three.

  15. Superman & Batman crushed by Captain Lame?? is that a joke lol, Batman alone craps all over Captain America, Supes and Bats are THE biggest heros of all time, Stuff Marvel, let them move the date!!

    • Yea, Christopher Nolan’s Batman may crap on Captain America, but what about Joel Schumacher’s?

      My point is, Captain America 3 being a big draw is a sure thing. Batman vs Superman is a gamble. They don’t want to gamble with their biggest project.

      • Back when Nolan was doing The Dark Knight I would have said there is no competition but Nolan is now gone and no longer has any ties to this project so therefore it’s a toss up for me. Captain America 2 drew great numbers and the hype along with great word of mouth is only going to give this movie some steam going forward. As comic book fans we know that it’s the Superman/Batman show but to the general public, they consider Iron Man/Captain America on the same level as Superman/Batman. Then you also throw in the fact that a lot of the general public was turned off by the direction that MOS went(something even Nolan said he didn’t agree with in numerous interviews) and now we have a toss up.

  16. This is just a publicity stunt from WB/DC to get people talking. In a few months they’ll either run into more delays pushing the date back or get some good fortune and move the date forward. Marvel won’t be shifting from that date because, 1. They had it first, and 2. They don’t have to.
    During the time between MOS and BvS, Marvel would’ve released Thor 2, Cap 2, Guardians, Avengers 2 and Antman. That might be almost $4 billion going into Marvels account while WB/DC release nothing. That’s not to include the other Marvel characters at other studios (Spider-man, X-Men, F4) all raising brand recognition. So Marvel are probably thinking, so what if Cap 3 takes a hit and doesn’t make as much money as it could’ve. We’re still sitting on a massive pile of cash and have another movie coming out in a few months. Any shortfalls can be made up with the next production.
    Meanwhile, WB/DC need BvS to make as much money as possible. Which won’t happen if they don’t move to a different date.
    The Cap 3 script probably hasn’t even been written yet. What if, at ComicCon they announce the title will be Captain America 3: Civil War and drag RDJ out for his final hit before Avengers 3? Suddenly it’s Batman vs Superman vs Captain America vs Iron Man. See how fast dates suddenly start shifting then. Probably won’t happen, but we can dream.

    • @ Sanjiyan.

      I agree with your comments completely, well put.

      Bottom line is that Marvel do not need to move and DC/WB probably will need to like you say.

      If Marvel throw in Hulk then I can see Cap 3 doing as well or even beating S v B.

      • Anyone who thinks that a captain america 3 movie can beat and outlast a batman v superman movie is crasy and stupid for thinking that at all. Superman is the first super heroe and is the strongest one at that. Man of steel made over $ 291.500.00 million in the U.S.A and almost $ 700.000.000 million worldwide. Batman is the only true super heroe that can actualy happen in real life. The Dark Knight made over $ 535.000.000 million in the U.S.A and almost $ million worldwide. The Dark Knight Rises made over $ 449.000.000 million in the U.S.A and almost $ million worldwide. Case closed for anyone who thinks that poor captain america by himself can beat both batman and superman together the greatest super heroes of all time. I challenge anyone who thinks different from this statement come on have at it.

  17. I’m not watching any of them in the theater to save money (that will test my anxious resolve indeed), because I am buying all of them on DVDs! Just have to grit my teeth, bear down, and show patience! Pumped for them all, tho!

  18. All these franchises need each other to do well. For the sake of the CBM genre all these films have to be great. DC and Marvel. Rivalries breed excellence.

  19. Most of you are being ridiculous. Both films will be hits. One film is to begin shooting in a matter of weeks,the other is still in the planing stage. We know nothing about either film. First marvel may have said they planned to release a movie on the 6th but what many are failing to see is that plans change. Capt 2 was to be released in may but it was moved to april. Look you can map out films to 2125 and 90% of those dates will be moved and such. Thats the truth about planning long term stuff changes or an actor drops out or bad weather affects shooting. Its life. BvS was to start filming in feburary and look what happened.In janurary we were hit with massive cold weather and snow storms in the northern usa. It was subzero temps for weeks. That wasnt planned also they brought in another writer to finalize the script. that takes time. Will bvs move? maybe i can see them actually releasing EAaRLIER in april. We saw that a well marketed superhero movie could do well in april. 4 or 5 weeks then capt 3 could be a good few weeks for both overseas and domestically.

  20. Dropping the movie in april can help with box office dominance but can also marginalize the kids/teens in school who won’t be able to watch the movie during the week. I say Move it to June 3rd to truly capitalize on that demographic.

  21. I would love to see DC/WB stand their ground, and prove MARVEL are pretty much doing this for spite , listen I know THEY know they had a hit on their hands and will do anything to take box office dollars away and feel obviously threatened by Superman/Batman on the screen together which is apparent everyone wants to see…..the business dictates it is an insane move. Think about the cost of attending a film in 2016, which this has MARVELS ego written all over it. There simply is not enough cinema bucks to go around. Especially in week one and two when most of us that love a film go see it again no more then 10 days later….so that dictates 4 tickets in the first 14 days for the average film fan ( and only if there is no date, family member etc you are buying for. Bottom line both films will fall short. Releasing 30 days apart makes more sense, business sense let alone the ethics involved. Just because you FINALLY got one film right MARVEL ( CAP2) does not mean you have to be dicks about it.

    • When you say “stand your ground” would that apply to the film that had the release date first?

  22. Marvel will kill Steve in Cap 3. That’s a definite, and I imagine a lot of people wiki’d the Winter Soldier before and after the movie and seen who he becomes. BvS will win out of the two simply because nobody knows what it’ll be about besides the two heroes. The only thing that could kill BvS is if word of mouth and reviews after the midnight premier are bad, THEN people will go see Cap.

    • They’re gonna kill Rogers before Avengers 3?

      I imagine after a massive marketing campaign, one of WB’s biggest ever, we’ll know a lot about BvS before it comes out :)

      • Rob…yes DC had the date first, ( actually 3) Most studios divide each decade into a Quarter much like the fiscal year, with all of the projections, projects etc. Even the UK date as well in late April. DC moved BVS back actually twice. MARVEL toyed with the idea, and as cocky as they are announced 3 or 4 days ago officially. ( I don’t trust them.)
        Anyway…Webster has a point, but Evans still has 3 pictures left on his deal, as his death is inevitable, which would bring Robert back to do the deed…..but unless the script has some kind of flashback written in, I am open to ideas on how this will take place. A2, CAP3 then what????? Is Fury heading to Europe for the new heroes group to be formed?

        • Not really. Marvel had already staked out the date for an unannounced movie since June last year, much earlier than WB/DC so technically WB/DC is the one being cocky by movie the release date of their biggest feature to compete against Marvel; it’s only recently that Marvel declared that the unannounced movie is Captain America 3.

          You’re right, Evans does have 3 pictures left but you’re forgetting to count Avengers 3; it comes after Captain America 3 and it’s the third and last movie in his deal. Although, who knows what the future holds? Maybe he’ll return later.

          Besides, like many people have said, WB/DC NEEDS Batman vs Superman to succeed like The Avengers did. They need it to reach the one billion dollar mark or they would consider the movie a failure and that won’t happen when they’re competing against Captain America; they would hurt each other financially and won’t be able to achieve their full box office potential.

          I’m also going to reply to your first comment and ask, don’t you think Marvel got The Avengers right? It is the third most grossing film of all time now. I doubt it’s Marvel’s ego but even if it were, don’t they have deserve to show some ego? Because discounting Nolan’s trilogy, WB/DC does not have the general audience’s (non-comic book fans) favour like Marvel does; most of their films were much better received in general than Man of Steel, WB/DC’s only other claim which had divided opinions. So while comic book fans will flock towards Batman vs Superman, most other people will be more inclined to watch Captain America 3 especially with The Winter Soldier’s recent success. I personally would rather watch Cap than Bat because even though I love them both equally, not only did I not enjoy Man of Steel, I don’t really approve of the recent casting decisions of WB/DC and I loved The Winter Soldier.

          • Corner….WB is not that obtuse , again like I said every decade is mapped out. I do believe the date was theirs. I did not forget A3, but look at the potential release date, and Evans wants to be behind the camera.
            I do not understand the first comment comment. IMHO Winter Soldier was far superior to Avengers, script and direction. Can I forgive MARVEL/Fox for everything they have screwed up royally? ( and continue?) absolutely not and that is where the cockiness comes from. Just like Rami did, Fox does not even look at source materials. As much as many loathe Disney, I for one have to applaud them for Winter Soldier. In talking with several Disney techs 3 months ago ( I am a lighting designer)they were beaming about Cap 2 and knowing my attitude towards what MARVEL has put on screen, IM3 for example and how awful it was, they were 100% correct that the majority of us would be blown away with Winter Soldier….., “they” indeed finally got something right.
            In regards to MOS, besides being a brilliant take, the casting decisions are totally spot on and will make most eat their words. Some of MARVEL’s casting decisions make me uncomfortable at best….yet I still supported the films. Totally agree with you on the non comic book fans have MARVEL’s back, they didn’t care about Ironman when first introduced, they cared about Robert.

            Good job Corner.

            • @Pirate It’s the first time I’ve heard that the date belonged to WB/DC; when did they announce that? As far as I know, Marvel is the only company who has its films planned out so systematically.

              True, Marvel did a brilliant job with The Winter soldier. I agree, The Avengers isn’t the best example for good filmmaking, but it is the first film of its kind; it contained six superheroes who could each support their own feature and yet it didn’t let the cast overwhelm the film and balanced it’s characters adequately. For all it’s flaws, I think it was put together quite well but each to his, or her, opinion. On the other hand, Fox makes films about Marvel characters independently and not on behalf of Marvel itself so they’re not obliged to follows the comics’ canon as much as Marvel (even though they should). They did screw up quite a few characters but I’m hoping they’ll do better with Days of Future Past.

              I don’t mind Batfleck or Gal Gadot; my only issue is with Jesse Eisenberg’s casting as Lex Luthor, but we’ll see how he does in Batman vs Superman. I can’t really judge without watching them in action. However, I didn’t have any issues with Marvel’s castings, but that’s probably just me.

              Thank you! (I’m not sure how I did good though… )