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.

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More: The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

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

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Bloomberg

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TAGS: batman vs superman, captain america 3

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  1. Well that is going to be a record breaking weekend. Not so much for one film but just for total box office take for a weekend.

    I can’t be the only one that is planning a double feature weekend.

  2. “Not at this time.”
    But they will…
    At some point one of the studios will do the smart thing and change the release date.
    It has nothing to do with fear or which movie is more anticipated. Just like I said on the last article about this it’s simple common sense.

    It’s fun to debate topics like this for us fans but in the boardroom where bottom lines are discussed when some idiot executive is explaining to the head of the studio why their movie grossed half of it’s expected opening weekend is because of not changing a release date the words he or she will hear next is “You’re fired”.

  3. Come all ye DC bashers come!

  4. They will change the date now that Captain America has established itself as the top grossing franchise.

    • Nothing can compete with Batman Vs Superman, if the general public (who make up most of the box office grosses in the end) were given the option they would pick BvS, and much of the comicbook community would do the same if they had to choose between Cap 3, and BvS. Everyone is hyped for Cap 3 because of how excellent TWS was, but from a business perspective Kevin Feige must be thinking that DC is attempting to launch a cinematic universe, and in a daring move (something Marvel has become accustomed to) hurt WB and DC throw a popular character with proven box office (Marvel has plenty of cinematic characters given their 8 year head start) and cause as much damage as they can. Whatever box office they lose, they gain by weakening their cometitors ,and in that perspective they Marvel and Feige are master strategists.

      • I think the first part of your comment is really the thing though. DC has the most to lose in this scenario. If they go head to head and B/S wins, well, so what? They were up against Captain America, that’s SUPPOSED to happen. But if they lose? That would be a huge blow to the franchise and to their image. Marvel could probably take the hit, especially since they’ll have a second movie later in the year that could probably recover any loss, but DC’s franchise really NEEDS to get started in a way Marvel’s doesn’t.

        I’m personally in the camp that doesn’t want to see them go head to head anyway. It would do a disservice to both movies, as this article points out. The studios need to stop all this sword rattling and move one of them. I don’t think either of them wants the matchup any more than I do, but it’s all a matter of pride at the moment…which is a terrible way to make business decisions.

        • Ur last statement kind of proves another point. The studios may not want to lose profits but for the general audience, they could care less. Literally nothing has come out for either movie, if they’re gonna move the date now is the time to do it. Don’t wait until you have posters and trailers, move while nobody has any actual opinions either way. IF they both decide to stand their ground Marvel wins, not necessarily at the box office but in the long term. Fans will be excited for both of these films regardless of the day they open. All of the fans will see both so there is no loss on that front.

  5. Thats the spirit DC, we never compromise…..except when needed

    • Lol. Or when their corporate overlords orders them.

  6. Well, I hope DC/WB isn’t expecting this movie to hit big numbers then opening week because although the comic fans will go to both films, I doubt the general public will. With all that is Captain America 2, the general public(at least at my job) is more excited on what’s going to happen in The Avengers 2 and Captain America 3 right after. Bold movies by both parties but not very smart

    • Batman and Superman are two of the most well-known characters and properties in the history of comics. People around the world know who they are, comic book fans or not. Throw the most iconic female character in comicdom into the mix…

      Don’t get me wrong, Marvel’s done a fantastic job getting characters like Cap, Thor and Iron Man into the public consciousness, but I doubt DC is worrying about public name recognition for Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

      • I understand but at the same time, this BvS movie isn’t off to a good start. A lot of the DC fan base is divided(something very apparent on the DC fan website) and also the general public, even though they know who they are, might not be as hyped up for it assuming that Avengers 2 does the same type of great work that Cap 2 did. Say what you want, but Marvel’s marketing strategy is very top notch. The same people(general public) I know that were excited for BvS are now more excited for the next chapter of Captain America 3. I could care which company moves because I want both to succeed but as of right now staying put is a bigger gamble for WB/DC than it is for Marvel/Disney.

    • I don’t know I think once marketing kicks in batman/superman/wonder woman will pull audiences.

      Given the thought and planning for this film and the odd rumors already circulating for cap 3 pyschotic cap I know many might want to sample the new francise.

    • Marvel had already chosen that date, and confirmed it. If anyone was “not very smart” it was DC/WB for moving there movie there in the first place. It makes no sense, unless there just trying to create furthers buzz about their movie. Think about it- If your a studio head, and you have to move back your date, whats a good move that will distract fans from complaining about delays once more? Create a story of epic proportions like this one. lol

      I think DC will move their film up to April, and that they have always planned that. This way you kill two birds with one stone. You created a buzz with the whole “DC vs. Marvel” thing, and you look like your ahead of schedule again since your moving the movie up a month in 2016. lol

  7. Awesome title idea for Captain America 3, Captain America: Hydra Hailed.

  8. nothing but love here for both!! I hope they don’t change it or shy away from it!!
    what a great weekend for fans in general, lets face it everyone going to see 1 is going to want to see the other!

    what an epic weekend that is going to be!!

  9. Batman VS Superman VS Captain America!!! The stakes just went up boys take your picks now!

    New concept idea: forget shared universe, cross-universe is clearly the future.

  10. Its a win-win for comic book movie fans. I will admit that I’ll plan in seeing “Batman vs Superman” first. I love Captain America, but having Batman and Superman in the same movie is just too good.

  11. Whether it’s horrible or great, I don’t know anybody who won’t rush out to see Batman vs. Superman. Just read aloud that title (working title or not) and tell me it’s not a cash grab. I’m definitely interested in just how they’ll do it.

  12. Seriously, who cares? On what planet would A Captain America movie do better than Batman vs Superman? The only reason Marvel wouldn’t change their date would be to take money away from DC, Cap ain’t beating Supes & Bats. Either way I’m seeing both, more movies for me!!!

    • Uhhh … Marvel’s date was already set. If anyone is trying to take money away from another it is DC/WB by moving the date of BatsvsSupes.

      • Stop making sense, INK!!!

        • Right?? You will make DC fanboys have an aneurism!

  13. Marvel had already chosen that date, and confirmed it. If anyone was “not very smart” it was DC/WB for moving there movie there in the first place. It makes no sense, unless there just trying to create furthers buzz about their movie. Think about it- If your a studio head, and you have to move back your date, whats a good move that will distract fans from complaining about delays once more? Create a story of epic proportions like this one. lol

    I think DC will move their film up to April, and that they have always planned that. This way you kill two birds with one stone. You created a buzz with the whole “DC vs. Marvel” thing, and you look like your ahead of schedule again since your moving the movie up a month in 2016.

  14. Batman Vs Superman will win that weekend no doubt, the spectacle of watching the world’s two most iconic superheroes team up is something that generations of people have been waiting for, and if given the choice most would choose BvS over Captain America 3 anyday. They best choice would be Kevin Feige moving up the release to April 2016, where they just recently received much success with Cap 2, and beat DC to the punch.

    • While I agree that someone needs to move, I don’t see it being Feige. While he is one “more honorable producers” in hollywood- lets not for one second believe that all producers don’t have an ego when it comes to their movies. Especially this universe that feign has created. Its his “baby” and he probably sees himself as “a game changer” now. I don’t for one second see him backing down to a movie thats had numerous delays already, and backlash from the fan boys. This could get funny with interviews the closer we get to 2016. lol

      • “Game Changer” is a stretch, more like smart risks. My gut feeling is Fegie is sticking to the date to do any damage to the DC cinematic universe, which hasn’t even been established. It’s like spraying insect repellent, before an ant hill can form, and Marvel has the spray. Marvel has a wide assortment of cinematic characters to choose from with more on the way. They can lose money on one character (Cap 3), make it back with another character (Thor 3, GOTG 2, Iron Man 4, Dr.Strange,Hulk) , and reduce the damage its potential competition can cause in its future.

  15. I think everyone can agree this will not be the case come May 6, 2016. Anyone who really thinks neither will budge are dumb. Eventually one will move and it doesn’t have to be because of which has better prospects. Its called MAXIMUM PROFIT. Neither will make as much money as they could if they are the only big release per weekend. I believe it will be Marvel who moves up their date (by only a couple of weeks). Yes, TWS was great, but even with the acclaim, it will not be able to stand nose-to-nose with the two biggest superheroes in history teaming up on the big-screen. Both will have huge releases, but Marvel die-hards..it’s Batman AND Superman. It’s inevitable. One will move.

  16. “However at this time, we are not considering a change of date for ‘Batman vs. Superman.’”

    Good lord, even the mucky-mucks at WB are calling it that? Come on people, come up with a better name please.

  17. I’m going to throw this out there …

    I personally will love to see both movies, BUT, my wife and daughter love the humor aspect of the Marvel franchise and didn’t like Man of Steel all that much because it had “too much fighting”. Does anyone else know anyone who feels this way? AND would have suited DC in the long wrong to keep Superman a more uplifting character and maybe not have gone so dark?

    • I know of a lot of women who had that sort of thinking when it came to MOS. I personally loved the fight portion of it, LOL. There are others that just didn’t like the overall plot. I just hope this sequel can pull one of those TDK type of performances to win over some of those fans back because I know a lot of Superman fans that were turned off by MOS(hence the lackluster word of mouth)

    • I agree with you INK. I’ll definitely see both, but Cap3 will probably get my money first if they’re released the same weekend. My wife enjoys the Marvel movies and she watched MOS over the weekend with me on HBO and wasn’t that impressed. She’s got no comic book experience so certainly qualifies as a “general audience” movie goer and enjoys the Marvel movies more.

      My thoughts on the whole thing are it’s a win-win for Marvel no matter what. Everyone thinks BvS is going to be the champ going in so as long as Marvel holds that date, anything they get is gravy. If BvS moves, Marvel wins the perception battle. If they don’t, Cap3 will still eat into BvS’ box office and honestly, I would give it probably a 20% chance to win that weekend. Marvel’s brand is allowing them to create both GOTG and Antman movies, both on paper sound ridiculous but since it’s Marvel, there’s good buzz for them. BvS on the other hand has had questionable at best results from their casting choices so far as well as delays. If you take your fanboy glasses off, I think this is a lot closer of a battle than many think.

  18. In the long “run” not “wrong.”

  19. This is really stupid. The Marvel vs DC crap is starting to turn me off from both. Most people are gonna see both movies anyway, so trying to compete with each other is retarded beyond retarded.

    • +1

  20. doesnt this all rely on how good wonder women does in theaters? wouldnt that affect batman vs superman

    • That was an april fools joke from screenrant. There isnt going to be a woman woman movie in 2015..

  21. If it end up with Dc sticking to their guns I’m pretty sure Cap will do the best at the box office. Not that Batman & Superman won’t do good, it’s just that Cap has an entire mcu backing him including what many say is could be the best marvel solo film to date (TWS) and the yet to be released avengers 2 so it should be interesting

    • Cap 2 had a weaker opening week than man of steel. It will certinenly have better legs cahse its release date spot but to say cap 3 will make more opening week isnt correct imo

  22. DC is going to fold for a very simple reason: they need their movie not only to be a hit but a massive hit. DC should not only win but win big if they want to have a future. They are betting all their chips on that movie working out for them. DC can’t afford to drop their figures at the box office for that particular movie, while Marvel clearly can.

    Counting from the release of Man of Steel in 2013, by the time we get to May 2016 we would have seen from Marvel’s camp no less than 5 movies (Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man). That obviously only adds to Marvel’s wallet and their brand recognition. Like Kevin Feige said, people go and see Ratatouille not because it is about a rat but because it has the Pixar stamp on it. Marvel is surely getting there and God knows how much they will make at the box office with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Captain America 3 is going to be a VERY anticipated movie. The Russo’s brothers are directing it!

    Superman and Batman are probably the most recognised super-heroes in the world but right now they don’t have that organic cinematic universe backing them up. Casting choices for that movie haven’t had the best reception either. I don’t know, right now Marvel and Captain America could pass them running saying “on your left” for several laps… time will tell, but if they have half a brain at DC, they will avoid this confrontation. Even if Cap loses at the box office, that could still be a victory for Marvel if it is by a small margin. I mean, semi Justice League movie against Cap and they don’t wipe the floor with him? What the hell, after seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier I am not even sure they would win at the box office. I will see both but Cap first.

    • “DC is going to fold for a very simple reason: they need their movie not only to be a hit but a massive hit. DC should not only win but win big if they want to have a future. They are betting all their chips on that movie working out for them. DC can’t afford to drop their figures at the box office for that particular movie, while Marvel clearly can”

      Exactly. That’s my point. It’s not that Marvel is better but that Marvel has more room to play around with. They have all these movies already planned out whether they fail or succeed whereas WB/DC is betting everything on this one movie. Another $600-700 million type of performance at the box office will not be acceptable this time around. They are looking for that $1billion mark and anything short of that will be considered a fail. This is why WB/DC will end up moving in the long run

  23. I disagree Captain America won’t be able to stand toe-to-toe with BvsS. The movie will be opening right on the heels of Avengers 2. The last Marvel movie that opened right on the heels of an Avengers movie earned 1.2B at the box office (Iron Man 3), almost twice what Man Of Steel earned that summer.

    Maybe TODAY Captain American wouldn’t win vs BvsS, but we’re not talking about today, we’re talking about 2 years from now. If history is any indicator, the anticipation for Captain America 3 will be much greater than the anticipation for the 2nd movie because:
    - Unlike The Winter Solider, CA3 will be following up a critically acclaimed movie
    - It will be coming off the heels of the Avengers

    WB would be making a mistake to simply rest on the power of name recognition. Just take a look at how Batman has leapfrogged Superman in terms of popularity, and how Iron Man has leapfrogged everyone. Even Thor is now on par with Superman, atleast in terms of box office numbers. If someone asked you 10 years ago which superhero is more popular, Iron Man or Wolverine, what would you reply? What would you reply today?

    At the end of the day, Marvel is putting in work, and their popularity is growing everyday. All other properties are either now behind or losing ground.

    • Thor is definitely not on par with Superman. Thor: The Dark World was the third appearance of the character behind Thor and The Avengers. Man of Steel was a reboot coming off of a very lackluster Superman Returns in ’06. Man of Steel made more money (even if a little) than a character’s third appearance in his first.

      And as for Captain America.. CA is gaining popularity. But it’s NOT because of Captain America. It’s everything going on around him and The Avengers. Chris Evans cannot carry a film on his own and didn’t have to in TWS, which is why it was successful. Also, CA: TWS only made 10 m more than T:TDW did on its opening weekend. If projections are accurate, it will make somewhere in the high 600 millions. A third appearance which will once again rack in money similar to Man of Steel’s only film. WHICH THEN..

      Add Batman to the Man of Steel.. and there is no competition. CA3 would make great money, but S/B should no doubt make close to a billion regardless of quality. In this case, name recognition is the name of the game.

      • that guy said thor is on par with superman in popularity, Loooooooooooooooool. marvel fanboy right there

        • Box office numbers says they are.

          It doesn’t matter if more people are familiar with the name if the same number of people are going out to watch their movie.

      • Man Of Steel was a reboot, but it also opened off the heels of the Dark Knight Trilogy, which WB marketed heavily. Nolan’s name-association gave MOS a huge box office boost. Had it simply been promoted as a Snyder/Goyer film (which it was in reality), anticipation wouldn’t nearly been as strong.

        I agree that Captain America’s increasing popularity isn’t entirely because of him, and it doesn’t need to be. My point was never that Chris Evans would be the primary reason, just that the movie itself will be able to compete.

        I agree adding Batman’s name increases box office, but you forgot to subtract Nolan’s name as well. Everyone knows this is strictly a Snyder/Goyer project now, so WB isn’t going to market this as a Nolan-production the way they did Man Of Steel. Combine this with the fact that Man Of Steel was not a critical success, and that Captain America’s momement is only going to increase from here on out, and I would say CA3 will be great competition indeed.

        • Agreed. Nolan was a huge part of MOS with some major influences in the film but that is now gone. Now we will see if how Snyder and Goyer do on their own. The marketing will be different from MOS and the hype will be different as well. Name recognition is not enough anymore or else MOS would have crossed the $1billion mark considering Superman is the best known CB hero around the world instead of pulling in $600 million

          • Nolan’s name might not be there, but consider that they’ve got the angle of “from the writers of Dark Knight Trilogy and Argo”…..

            • Maybe, but the whole Dark Knight ties isn’t really true because it was Nolan and his brother who wrote the script, not Goyer. Goyer was credited for helping out but was never really a huge part in the Dark Knight trilogy. The whole Argo part I get, but like many people I know have said, it’s still Snyder directing. Not a lot of people(general public) have confidence in Snyder’s direction. Like I said, a lot of people were turned off by the direction of MOS. Even Nolan, who has come out in some interviews, has said he didn’t agree with something in MOS. Would MOS have hit the $1 billion mark had they gone with Nolan’s direction for the movie? Who knows but it doesn’t give people confidence in the movie either along with the divisions within DC fans alone on the casting choices and you get a lower than expected hype. Now this will more than likely change when the trailer comes out but right now opening at the same time with a movie that is coming off the heels of Age of Ultron and it just doesn’t spell out instant box office success, i.e. a $1 billion movie.

      • “S/B should no doubt make close to a billion regardless of quality. In this case, name recognition is the name of the game.”

        This is a comic book fan thing, not a general public thing. Had it been based on name recognition along, then MOS would have had no issues reaching the $1billion mark but lackluster word of mouth turned people off from watching this movie(the bad word of mouth made 3 neighbors of mine not watch it and some of my co-workers). We as fans will instantly go see it but as far as the general public, who knows. Name recognition isn’t an instant success anymore. Pulling in MOS type numbers for BvS isn’t going to cut it this time around.

      • Interesting point about Chris Evans not being able to carry a film on his own. Without commenting how true or untrue that is, it got me to thinking…how many superhero actors *can* carry a film on their own? By the “Chris Evans can’t” logic, arguably only Robert Downey, Jr can truly carry a film on his own. That’s not to take away from Henry Cavill, Chris Hemsworth, etc. I’m a big fan of those guys.

        Maybe Ben Affleck can carry a film, in general, but he’s really got to prove to a lot of people that he was not a bad choice for Batman.

        No, Captain America doesn’t exist on Captain America, whilst Batman/Superman will have to coast on their name recognition.

  24. Okay I know it is impractical but wouldn’t it be awesome to see DC, MARVEL, Star Wars, Star Trek against each other all on the same day? I think I’d have a stroke, but it’d be worth it.

    • But…then imagine all of the vacant other weekends during the year, with none of those franchises.

  25. At this point I should probably stop being surprised at how DC are consistently making every wrong decision.

  26. Warners will eventually move SvB. Not that they’re worried but it just doesn’t make any good business sense to release both of those movies on the same weekend. While it may be true that Supes and Bats (and WW) are known the world over, Cap, Hulk IM and Thor are becoming just as well known and all tied together with an intriguing over-arching storyline. It’s free publicity for both studios at the moment two years down the road. If Marvel wanted to up things a notch, introduce Black Panther in Cap 3. That as well as on the heels of Avengers 2 and the buildup to Avengers 3 will put quite a bit of pressure on Warners.

    Me, I’ll be watching Cap 3. I’m burnt out on Supes and Bats.

  27. If Marvel picked that date first. DC must be smart and move to june. If we can wait two years. One moth more will not hurt nobody.

  28. I’ll definitely go see both of these, but if they come out on the same day, I will make a point of only going to see Captain America 3 on the opening weekend. WB deserves to be embarrassed for all of their erratic maneuvering. I want all of these films to do well, but I respect Marvel Studios far more *as a film-making entity* at this point.

  29. It’s funny how all this talk about which one will do better numbers, which one the general audience would rather see, and who has made up their mind that they’re going to go see both and have already planned out on which days will be all for naught. There’s no way in Hell one of these films isn’t moving the date (hint: it’s not gonna be Captain America). I’m not even really sure exactly what WB was thinking when they announced this date – though it could just have been a fairly smart way to drum up suckers like us to talk about it and give it free press, which would keep it in people’s minds until they have some trailers and footage to show.

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