Holy superhero movie battle! A real war of the comic book titans seems to brewing as sources at The Hollywood Reporter report that Marvel (and it’s parent Disney) will release Captain America 3 on May 6, 2016– the same date that the still untitled Batman vs. Superman showdown is set to land in theaters, courtesy of DC Comics and Warner Bros. That would make for one the biggest opening weekend showdowns of all time. It’s highly unusual for two major tentpole films to be released on the same day, begging the question on who will flinch and who will move along.
Typically major studios try to avoid pitting two films on the same weekend that are vying for the same audience. Reasoning it will hurt the opening grosses of both properties and limit the long term potential gross. Especially when concerning superhero movies with large built-in audiences, grosses tend to be highly front-loaded and trail off rather quickly. Marvel actually staked out the release date first, for a film they hadn’t unveiled yet. It was odd then when the Man of Steel sequel charged for the very same day after the feature was delayed from its original berth in the summer of 2015. Considering the stakes of the film which pairs the two biggest DC characters in the same movie for the first time. Ben Affleck will take on the role of Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill reprises his role as Clark Kent from Man of Steel, marking a hopeful DC universe to challenge the powerful, a mighty profitable, one created by Marvel. Original director Zack Synder is set to return. Man of Steel opened last June to strong numbers, but a mixed reception from critics and fans.
The first weekend of May has been nearly owned by the Marvel brand for some time now– past Marvel features to debut that same weekend include all three standalone Iron Man films, Thor and, the biggest of them all, The Avengers. That first weekend has always been eagerly sought after by distributors as the beginning of the summer movie season – the mood-setter if you like. While recently doing press for the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the second film in that characters chronology) which stars Chris Evans and opens in theaters on April 4th, Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige, said there were absolutely no plans to back away from the May 6, 2016 release date. However, he didn’t mention what title would open on that date.
Of course, much can change in two years for films that haven’t even begun production. We will report the latest as more news comes in.