It was the biggest pissing match of 2016: both Warner Bros. and Marvel put their big money tentpoles—"Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice" and "Captain America 3"—on the same date, May 6, 2016. Both refused to budge, but as expected, there was no way two major superhero movies were going to open on the same day, and WB has blinked first.
They’ve moved ‘Batman v. Superman’ ahead a couple of months to March 25, 2016 where it will face off against Paramount‘s "Beverly Hills Cop" reboot/sequel thing. But more crucially, it indicates that the sequel is well enough along that a few weeks less for post-production won’t matter, and considering Zack Snyder is already filming, he’s got a very comfortable amount of lead time to work with to get things done. And notably, there are no other superhero movies dated around that time, though "Divergent: Allegiant — Part 1" will open the week before.
But that’s not all WB has done this afternoon—they’ve gone ahead and officially put down flags on a number of dates for yet-to-be-announced movies, Marvel style, all the way through 2020. Here they are:
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
So, doing the math, that’s 9 DC movies coming in the next six years. Strap in folks, and let the rumor mill start churning….
Meanwhile….what’s the way to say this….20th Century Fox’s recent Comic-Con panel was, compared to most studios anyhow, very underwhelming. Whereas Warner Bros. had heat with “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (which apparently “won” Comic-Con according to nebulous social metrics) and Marvel also pleased with a lot of sizzle-style teaser footage (despite some disappointment about the lack of film title announcements), Fox’s buzz was pretty low wattage.
Instead of "Fantastic Four" or something from the new "X-Men" movies, the studio had lesser-anticipated movies like "Let’s Be Cops," "The Maze Runner" and arguably the crown jewel of their presentation, "Kingsman: The Secret Service." Directed by Matthew Vaughn, and based on a comic-book by Mark Millar (who is now overseeing Fox’s comic-book movie universe in a Joss Whedon-esque way), the movie stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton, Sophie Cookson and Sofia Boutella, and tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
But "Kingsman: The Secret Service” did not move the needle. How do you know? Well, you don’t even really need to know anything beyond Fox’s new strategy, as the movie has shifted from its previously planned October 2014 release to February 13, 2015 and opening head to head with Focus Features‘ "Fifty Shades of Grey." Don’t know about you, but I think I have a pretty good idea what mainstream audiences are going to see that weekend, but maybe I’m crazy.
If ‘Kingsman’ flops, which is a real possibility, though I suppose its still early, this would be the second movie black eye for Millar after “Kick-Ass 2” failed to light up theaters in 2013. But Hollywood likes to keep adapting this guy’s comic books, so who knows. Other release dates to be aware of, Fox’s "Poltergeist" remake now hits July 24, 2015 instead of February (that’s a definite sign of confidence), Warner Bros. "Run All Night" with Liam Neeson arrives on April 17, 2015 and EuropaCorp‘s "The Transporter Legacy" is now slotted for March 6, 2015.
Here’s a few new photos of "Kingsman: The Secret Service” while we’re at it.