Marvel Studios and Warner Bros./DC Comics have been playing a serious game of chicken these last few months. While Marvel claimed the May 6, 2016 release date as their own all the way back in June 2013 (later announcing the date as being for Captain America 3), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice decided to move to the exact same weekend this past March after being delayed nearly a year. We’ve spent the months since wondering which superhero blockbuster would finally end up moving, and today we have an answer.
Variety has gotten word from their sources that Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will no longer be coming out on May 6, 2016, and will now instead be coming out a little over a month earlier on March 25, 2016. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t have any detailed information about the move, but the extremely competitive weekend and Marvel’s unwillingness to budge were undoubtedly motivating factors.
And after Guardians of the Galaxy’s powerhouse performance at the box office this weekend, who could blame WB and DC from wanting to move away? James Gunn’s film was once written off as a risk and a gamble, but the Marvel brand helped make it a huge blockbuster success. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice certainly has more than enough brand appeal by itself, but it’s definitely in safer waters being released in March.
The first weekend in May has constantly proven to be the most successful blockbuster weekend of the year in Hollywood, but the good news for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is that the industry has spent many years turning March into another blockbuster month – and Zack Snyder actually has a lot to do with that. While it certainly looked like a summer blockbuster, Snyder’s 300 came out in March of 2007 and was an absolute smash hit, opening the doors for other big movies to be released within that same 31 day timeframe. In the years since, movies like The Hunger Games, Alice in Wonderland, Oz The Great And Powerful and The Lorax have all come out in March and been considered huge successes.
So Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s may not be hampered by this move, but there is definitely some bad PR that the production is going to have to deal with. Marvel Studios was clearly the victor in this game of release date chicken, and while it probably won’t mean too much by the time the movie actually comes out, you can definitely tell where the power currently lies in comic book filmmaking.
How do you feel about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice moving away from Captain America 3 and giving up the May 6, 2016 release date? Let us know what you think in the comments below.