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It’s the showdown of the century. Marvel’s Captain America 3 is coming off the heels of a megahit, and following the events of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. And Warner Bros. is doing the unthinkable, teaming DC's two biggest superheroes in Batman Vs. Superman, refusing to back down. While those release dates are more than two years away, people keep expecting one of them to back down. And it looks like Warner Bros. is inching forward.
The UK Film Distributor's Association just unveiled a couple of release dates for 2016. One is Universal’s The Mummy, which will bow on April 22nd, 2016, the same release date it has in America. But there is the Batman/Superman film, clocking in at April 29th, one week before its American release on May 6, 2016. We have reached out to Warner Bros. for confirmation, and are awaiting a reply.
So, to recap: Marvel seized the date, despite not having an announced movie. Then the WB shuffled their film to that same date, out of the summer of 2015. And Marvel buckled down and revealed that Captain America would be the hero getting the call against the World’s Finest. Since then it has been a stalemate, possibly the most ridiculously competitive blockbuster showdown of all-time.
International audiences have become more important than domestic ones, though studios are unwilling to surrender their stranglehold on the American summer, instead opting to stretch blockbuster season into unseasonal months overseas. The fact is, reviews are nice, but money is better: a quote from Sam Bargington of the Whitslestop Gazette on your summer blockbuster doesn’t have the same power as a selling point against "The Number One Movie In The World." Spotlighting that your film has already charmed overseas audiences to the tune of several hundreds of million looks great on a marquee. It’s the opposite of what’s been going on thus far, with foreign audiences having to wait on a film’s American performance before they sampled it. If these films did poorly in America, they would have a meager international profile, with smaller release slates. Thanks to still-developing theaters in places all over the world, it’s easier to have that fancy debut number to show off to the US.
Regardless, the lucky UK likely will be getting the WB superhero scramble before America. Curious to see if Marvel follows suit and kicks that Captain America release up a couple of weeks in response: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already made a forceful statement by launching in the very middle of April internationally. You get the sense some studios are trying to outsmart each other and game the system, when in fact there are only so many months during the year!