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‘Batman vs. Superman’ Release Date Moved Up to Avoid Marvel’s ‘Captain America 3′

Batman vs. Superman Trailer Comic-Con 2014
Warner Bros.

With ‘Batman vs. Superman‘ going up against ‘Captain America 3‘ on the same date (May 6, 2016), you knew one of them would have to move, and now one of them has. After seeing what Marvel was able to do with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘ this past weekend (over $94 million), Warner Bros. has announced that they’ve moved up the release date of ‘Batman vs. Superman’ to March 25, 2016 and will avoid a big showdown with Marvel.

The studio also confirmed what we pretty much already knew would happen: that ‘Batman vs. Superman’ will be released in 3D. And, in addition to the new ‘Batman vs. Superman’ release date, the studio also announced dates for a number of unnamed superhero films all the way to 2020.

Untitled DC Film – 08/05/16
Untitled DC Film – 06/23/17
Untitled DC Film – 11/17/17
Untitled DC Film – 03/23/18
Untitled DC Film – 07/27/18
Untitled WB Event Film – 11/16/18
Untitled DC Film – 04/05/19
Untitled DC Film – 06/14/19
Untitled DC Film – 04/03/20
Untitled DC Film – 06/19/20
Untitled WB Event Film – 11/20/20

We’d previously heard that Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern, Superman and Batman would all be getting their own solo movies post ‘Batman vs. Superman’, either before or after the planned ‘Justice League‘ movie. What’s most surprising is that there will be another DC superhero movie, just about five months after ‘Batman vs. Superman’ hits theaters. Considering how frequently it’s been teased lately, we’ll guess that’s the Rock/’Shazam’ movie that everyone is buzzing about.

Many people said that this year the summer blockbuster season opened even earlier with ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘ opening on April 4 to big numbers. Warner Bros. will look to expand the summer season even further – into March – and hoping to get a jump on the competition. They’ll have considerably less competition on their new date, going up against only a planned ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ reboot and another Warner Bros. film, ‘Geostorm,’ which will very likely make its own move out of the way. And, with little scheduled in April 2016 so far, the film will have a solid month to rack up the bucks before ‘Captain America 3′ opens in theaters.

All along, Marvel president Kevin Feige was asked about the potential for a showdown between their ‘Captain America’ movie and ‘Batman vs. Superman’ and he remained steadfast: they weren’t going to move. He told Empire earlier this year:

We are doing what we’ve always done, which is sticking to our plan and sticking to our vision for the movies going forward and we have a very large vision that we’re working on for Cap 3 and for all the “threes” movies and just because another movie plops down onto one of ours doesn’t mean we are going to alter that. Maybe we should, but we’re not going to.

‘Batman vs. Superman’ director Zack Snyder never commented on the release date controversy, and Feige likely never would have either, were he not doing press for two movies this year. While it will likely be spun that ‘Batman vs. Superman’ wasn’t avoiding a ‘Captain America 3′ showdown, the timing – coming right after Marvel’s massive success with a relatively little-known franchise in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – would seem to hint otherwise. If Marvel can open ‘Guardians’ to $90+MM, they can certainly do bigger with a ‘Captain America’ sequel and that’s money that could go in Warner Bros. pocket too, if they were just out of the way (which they now are).

‘Batman vs. Superman’ is still filming in Detroit with stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and other returning cast from ‘Man of Steel.’ ‘Captain America 3′ hasn’t started production yet, but Joe and Anthony Russo (directors of ‘Winter Soldier’) are hard at work on that sequel.

If you’re keeping track at home, this is what the next six years look like for superhero movies:

Avengers 2‘ – May 1, 2015
Fantastic Four‘ – June 19, 2015
Ant-Man‘ – July 17, 2015
‘Batman vs. Superman’ – March 25, 2016
‘Captain America 3′ – May 6, 2015
X-Men: Apocalypse‘ – May 27, 2016
Untitled Marvel Film – July 8, 2016
Untitled DC Film  – August 5, 2016
Sinister Six‘ – November 11, 2016
Untitled Female ‘Spider-Man’ Spinoff – TBD 2017
‘Venom vs. Carnage’ – TBD 2017
‘The Wolverine’ Sequel – March 3, 2017
Untitled Marvel Film – May 5, 2017
Untitled DC Film – June 23, 2017
‘Fantastic Four 2′ – July 14, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘ – July 28, 2017
Untitled Marvel Film – November 3, 2017
Untitled DC Film  – November 17, 2017
Amazing Spider-Man 3‘ – TBD 2018
Untitled DC Film  – March 23, 2018
Untitled Marvel Film – May 4, 2018
Untitled Marvel Film – July 6, 2018
Untitled DC Film  – July 27, 2018
Untitled Marvel Film – November 2, 2018
Untitled DC Film  – April 5, 2019
Untitled Marvel Film – May 3, 2019
Untitled DC Film  – June 14, 2019
Untitled DC Film  – April 3, 2020
Untitled DC Film  – June 19, 2020

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