The 2016 comic-book movie season kicked off with a bang with the February release of Deadpool, and expectations couldn't have been higher for the Man of Steel follow-up Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. With the box office for BvS dipping significantly in its second weekend of release, the future of the DCEU may now be on shaky ground. Meanwhile, the MCU continues with the highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War.
With Batman V Superman either putting a serious dent in the box office domination of comic book properties or proving the divide between fans and critics (or maybe both), we still have several more coming in 2016. While the creative and financial stakes for Doctor Strange, X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad are high, Captain America: Civil War arguably has more riding on its success.
Still, Civil War's success is not really in doubt. Now, Variety reports (via news agency Xinhua) that the film will be released in mainland China. There is no official Chinese release date, but a "source" set the date as May 6. If this is true, then Captain America: Civil War will see a day-and-date release in China and North America, the same as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film's directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, will appear at a promotional event in Beijing on April 19 -- joined by the film's stars Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie -- where the official release date will reportedly be announced.
With Civil War screening early as CinemaCon shortly after its Los Angeles premiere on April 12, we'll hear soon enough just how much more “aggressive in tone” the film is than its predecessor Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Russos' first Cap film released on China on May 4, 2014, grossing $38 million in its opening weekend and ending its run with a total of $116 million, a big chunk of The Winter Soldier's $455 million foreign cume.
The news of Civil War's confirmed Chinese release is not a surprise, given how crucial international box office success has become to these huge, tentpole blockbusters. For The Winter Soldier, China's box office totals were the largest of any individual foreign market. This ensures a big marketing push in that territory. The international appeal of a franchise centered around the star-spangled superhero was established by the global success of Captain America: The First Avenger, which earned half of its total gross from international markets, but did not see a release in China.
The world-spanning intrigue and promised clash of superheroes will more than likely translate into similar international success and make no mistake, all eyes are now on Captain America: Civil War in the wake of Batman V Superman's box office issues.
Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016. Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018;Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans– July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.