Warner Brothers has moved the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice release date for a second time to conclude one of the biggest Hollywood games of chicken in recent memory. To coincide with the move, they’ve announced release dates for 11 future films through the year 2020, nine of which will be DC Comics films.
Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot was originally scheduled to be released in December 2015. Warner Bros. pushed it back to early May 2015 in order to have more time to work on the film, avoid Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode VII, or a combination of the two.
A few months ago Marvel flexed its muscles and staked claim to the same May 2016 release date as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for Captain America 3 following the huge box office success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Neither studio seemed interested in moving from the date, and thus the game of who would flinch first began.
Anyone who follows box office numbers, especially comic book movies, understands that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have outperformed Captain America 3 had both opened on the same date. By moving Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to its new March 25, 2016 release date, both films will have more room to breathe and maximize their earnings potential.
The blockbuster season in Hollywood has expanded over the past decade and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a prime example of the new trend. It would have been unheard of 10 years ago for a film of this stature — the first live-action film to put Batman and Superman on the big screen at the same time — to not come out during the summer movie season. As The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Lego Movie and other films have proven over the past few years, blockbusters can come at any time of the year.
The new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice release date is the tip of the iceberg as far as Warner’s announcements earlier today. Their release slate for DC Comics and event films is impressive to say the least, ramping up to three DC films in 2018 and 2020.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice: March 25, 2016
Untitled DC film: August 5, 2016
Untitled DC film: June 23, 2017
Untitled DC film: November 17, 2017
Untitled DC film: March 23, 2018
Untitled DC film: July 27, 2018
Untitled WB event film: November 16, 2018
Untitled DC film: April 5, 2019
Untitled DC film: June 14, 2019
Untitled DC film: April 3, 2020
Untitled DC film: June 19, 2020
Untitled WB event film: November 20, 2020
Note that not a single DC film is scheduled for release during Marvel’s signature May month for tentpole films. The only given to land somewhere in this list is Justice League, which could fall anywhere between August, 2016 and November, 2018.