Last weekend's huge box office success of Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy was the figurative 'nail in the coffin' for the 'game of chicken' Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. were playing with each other for the release date of May 6, 2016. Marvel has Captain America 3. Warner had Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige kept telling the media they would not move out of the May 6 spot and it looks like he was right as Warner has flinched. Perhaps Warner flinched due to Guardians of the Galaxy being a unknown hero property and yet still brought in a $94 million domestic opening. That is as intimidating of a statement any Hollywood studio can make.
Warner had to swallow their pride by deciding to move Batman v. Superman from May 6 to its new release date of March 25, 2016. Big deal. In fact, this was the right move since Marvel Studios has yet to derail after 10 hit movies in a row; they are definitely Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the box office.
Marvel Studios won but Warner Bros. finally realized they can release a movie with Batman AND Superman at any time of the calendar year and it will still be a huge success. The simple reason is that this is the first time two of the oldest and most iconic heroes ever created by mankind are sharing a movie. Whether it was May or March, Batman v. Superman was going to make a ton of money. It has a built in audience from the last seven decades.
After bowing out of May 6, Warner then ripped a page out of Marvel Studios' scheduling book by securing nine release dates through 2020. Those dates are:
- August 5, 2016
- June 23, 2017
- November 17, 2017
- March 23, 2018
- July 27, 2018
- April 5, 2019
- June 14, 2019
- April 3, 2020
- June 19, 2020
No movie titles were announced, just the dates. There are also two "event films" planned by Warner on November 16, 2018 and November 20, 2020 but no further details about these two were made and they could be unrelated to the DC release schedule. This DC release schedule is also larger than one previously rumored before Comic-Con 2014.
What do I think? (This is all speculation and nothing more.)
I think two Justice League movies, a Man of Steel sequel, a solo Batman film, a Wonder Woman movie, a Shazam movie and maybe ... just maybe ... an Aquaman movie should be in those dates. This leaves two dates left and I have no clue what I would put in those since I'm not sure a Green Lantern or a Flash movie can be as effective as all of the others listed above.
So where does this leave us? Both elated with excitement and exhausted from being excited.