Marvel Not Moving Away From ‘Batman vs. Superman’ in May 2016

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 8th, 2014 at 9:35 am,

Marvel vs DC Justice League Avengers Team Up Marvel Not Moving Away From Batman vs. Superman in May 2016

While disappointing for eager fans, it wasn’t all that surprising when Warner Bros. announced that it would be delaying Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel – unofficially dubbed and still untitled Batman vs. Superman – into 2016. Relatively lengthier periods of time between followups proved successful for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films, and for Man of Steel 2 (featuring Batman and Wonder Woman and more!) they’re spending the time to get it right.

It was initially planned for release in July 2015, in a month where Warner Bros. saw major success with their last two Batman movies, and a short delay would mean a release in the less-lucrative month of August or during the intensely overcrowded November-December season. So, instead, WB pushed Batman vs. Superman back a whopping 10 months, to the opening weekend of the 2016 summer blockbuster season – the same weekend Marvel Studios had already scheduled an unannounced film.

The Marvel vs. DC comparisons couldn’t get more direct and we were surprised to see Warner Bros. choose not only a month they traditionally do not release DC Entertainment films in, but a weekend where their direct competitor is already releasing a film. What an epic weekend that would be for moviegoers!

DC vs Marvel Movies Casts Casting Rumors Marvel Not Moving Away From Batman vs. Superman in May 2016

We broke down and analyzed the whole situation and history of Marvel and DC film schedules earlier, posing the question of who would surrender that date. It’s a certainty that that weekend will bring one of the highest box office takes of 2016, if not, the highest, but would the two studios really release their tentpole big-budget blockbusters directly against each other?


Who Will Surrender Their May 2016 Release Date?


In the end, there were three options – Marvel moves, perhaps to the fall where they saw success in 2013 with Thor: The Dark World; DC Entertainment moves, since they’ve already shown that the release date of Batman vs. Superman is flexible, or they both stick.

According to Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige, the mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel isn’t going to move. Chatting with /Film today as part of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier junket, Feige said the following:

“We’re certainly keeping the date there and we’ll announce what that movie is, I assume, in the next few months.”

He followed up by re-confirming that they’ll announce what exactly that film is in the coming months, perhaps at Comic-Con where they usually do, or perhaps even earlier.

Unannounced Captain America 3 Logo Marvel Not Moving Away From Batman vs. Superman in May 2016

At the time of the BvS delay we suspected that the May 2016 release would be for Thor 3, since we know the first film (out of two Marvel Studios releases) each year going forward will be for a sequel to an established property, with the second release date used to launch a new property. In both Phase 1 and 2, Thor preceded Captain America on the release schedule (and earned more money) but in Phase 3, things could be different depending on how The Winter Soldier performs at the box office.

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo signing on to direct and help craft the story for Captain America 3 however, and them revealing during the junket that it would shoot in 2015, that changes things.

Combine that revelation with reports of Marvel having a shortlist of directors for Doctor Strange, and the potential schedule of Phase 3 might be becoming a little clearer:

  • May 6 2016 – Captain America 3
  • July 8 2016 – Doctor Strange
  • May 5 2017 – Thor 3/Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • Late Summer/Fall 2017 – ?

One rumor last month pointed towards a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy coming in May 2016 but that’s currently the least likely option, especially without knowing how the first film will do and the fact that it just might be going up against Warner Bros.’ flagship movie.

If Marvel stays put, and they will, don’t be surprised to see Warner Bros. take a mid or late-July weekend for Man of Steel 2. There’s no point in competing for that all-important opening weekend number and a July date would just give Snyder and co. an extra month of time on it.

[Update: Captain America 3 is officially releasing May 6, 2016 and Warner Bros. in response, isn’t planning to change dates “at this time”. Read the latest here.]


More: The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting


Batman vs. Superman is scheduled for May 6, 2016.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your comic book movie news!

Sources: /Film, NYP (via CBM)

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. @inside man if DC had a zipper u just had it opened for the last ten minutes and covered your face with the money shot, do you really have to drool so badly in public?? lol

  2. @eel egg trick boogaloo, agreed, I could easily see Marvel moving Cap3 to July, it’s seems more appropriate with July 4th and all, but, for that reason alone, I do not think Marvel fears DC one bit. No worries.

  3. Everyone should just pony up and see both, we need them both to succeed. I truly hope this is the outcome, as fans of even comic book movies alone, devastating losses at the box office could slow down comic book movies fast and forever. There can’t be this kind of divide any longer if this trend is going to last the test of time, it’s going to take all of us, interesting in cutting technology effects sci fi, I don’t know about you but, if I have to watch nothing but, so called dramatic flicks with no special effects for 16 bucks a ticket for the next ten years, I’m gonna be mighty pissed. If you enjoy them, appreciate the escapism and support the movement.

  4. If they are not successful, at least the BvS movie, I could see WB getting cold feet and possibly pulling out entirely, Marvel and Disney are solid like a rock though, this is what they do, whether you’re watching or not, I will be watching.

  5. Disney can afford to take a hit. Warner Brothers cannot. Disney makes billions of dollars annually, W.B. does not. Captain America 3 will cannibalize “Batman vs. Superman” at the Box Office because by that time Avengers 2 will have come out and Cap 3 will benefit enormously from that.

    Besides, even if Man of Steel 2 does “win”, it will be a pyrrhic victory.

    Like I said, Disney can afford to take a hit. W.B. can’t.

    Another W.B./D.C. failure will not bode well for future D.C. movies. Of course, Warner Brothers will probably go forward with the Justice League film in order to keep up with Marvel/Disney but with a possibly shorter budget; W.B. will also probably put an even tighter creative leash on the Justice League movie which may prove detrimental.

    Another thing, if Batman vs. Superman underperforms, things will not bode well for the movie based on Flash. After all, if a movie with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman can’t be a massive success, then what hope is there that a film based on ‘Flash’ will.

    Disney may be willing to sacrifice their movie’s possible total profits if it means sabotaging the competition.

    All of this discussion is pointless however, because one will inevitably move. My money, of course, is on W.B. If they don’t do it before, then once the Box Office numbers for The Avengers sequel comes in, they (W.B.) will flee in terror. I however think they will cave long before then.

      • I never said that DC/Warner Bros. performed badly at the box office.

        My sources come from IMDB, Box Office Mojo, Entertainment Weekly (owned by Warner Bros./Time Warner), The Guardian, etc. I triple checked each number so don’t shoot the messenger!

        But considering numerous (as in dozens) of reputable websites all report the same numbers I am going to go out on a limb here and say that they must be pretty accurate until proven otherwise.

        Besides, my main point is, as you just agreed, that Disney has a variety of ways and means to make money. Theme parks, merchandise, commercials, movies, shows, music, etc. They make billions and billions every year.

        That is why I say that Disney can more easily write off a loss than W.B. That is why W.B. could and probably would take a bigger hit than Disney/Marvel in a possible Cap 3/Steel 2 showdown, regardless of the numbers. W.B. should aim to maximize profits. Marvel may not be as happy but Disney could, potentially (this is speculation), see it as an acceptable risk if it means possibly sabotaging the competition.

        Of course, like I said, one of them will, inevitably, move.

  6. So i guess it’s safe to say, gone are the days of 5-film phases for marvel?
    Granted Marvel, Fiege, and co. weren’t 100% on the plans and if the Avengers were even a feasible goal, but what about the hulk?! Totally got jipped, man. I guess it was because Iron Man(1) didn’t count in terms of it didn’t “lay any ground work” for future films?
    Plus if they added in a 5 film they can smooth out story threads or even add a few.

  7. I predict even a sequel to Beetlejuice will be better than Snyder’s coming soon disaster

  8. Guardians of the Galaxy alone will be enough to rip Batfleck vs Superbman a new one

  9. Batman vs Superman will be destroyed by Guardians of the Galaxy. Assuming they are both coming out around the same date…

    • I never understand that criticism of Man of Steel, in no way did it advertise itself as a light movie or a movie that would have joy it was very dark even from the trailers. Also, DC has a track record with doing dark films it’s their style so it’s not a criticism necessarily.

      • agree…

  10. batman was within 3seconds of dying from blast from a atom bomb how will they explain that in batman vs superman

    • That’s not Nolan’s Batman we’re having for the upcoming 2016 film.

  11. Kevin T when you say “Besides, even if Man of Steel 2 does “win”, it will be a pyrrhic victory.”

    How exactly would it be ‘Pyrrhic’ or do you not know the meaning of the word?