Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Made you blink: 'Batman v Superman' changes release date -- again

Well, I saw this one coming.

Warner Bros. Entertainment announced today it has changed the release date of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" to March 25, 2016. (Unless you've been hiding under a rock the last couple of weeks, Cary's Comics Craze has been doing a lot -- and I do mean a lot -- of op-ed coverage of the Batman-Superman film. Click here for a round-up of those posts.)

This change is good news for several reasons. In fact, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

First, the first weekend of May 2016 is no longer a box-office battle ground for WB/DC Entertainment vs. Marvel Studios.

From a business perspective, the new date for "Dawn of Justice" means Warner Bros. won't be going head-to-head with the sequel to the fantastic "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" on the same weekend. Both films were scheduled to be released May 6, 2016; now the third "Captain America" film will have that weekend all its own. That in turn signifies the beginning of the 2016 summer season.

With the Cap sequel and "Dawn of Justice" on different weekends, that means each film will have time to breathe and stretch its box-office legs for as long as possible.

As a result, fans of both Marvel Comics and DC superheroes (like yours truly!) won't have to choose which movie they would have seen on opening weekend. Let's face it: It's unlikely -- even how devoted fans are -- that they would have seen both films that weekend; one of them would have suffered.

With WB/DCE choosing a significantly earlier release date for "Dawn of Justice," it's obvious they want to own as much of the box office as they can before Marvel Studios' first film of 2016 comes out. Warner Bros. actually seems to be not only going for a huge spring hit, but obviously, is looking to stretch out the time the Batman-Superman film might remain No. 1 at the box office. Time, word of mouth, an effective promotional campaign and most importantly, the quality of Zack Snyder's film will tell if that gamble pays off.

Here's how Yahoo! Movies described the situation: "'Batman v Superman' is viewed as the cornerstone of Warners’ DC Comics Universe and the studio couldn't afford to leave anything to chance with its release date. It was inevitable that one studio would blink, as it never made sense for Hollywood to open two blockbuster superhero movies against each other." (Sounds kinda familiar, huh?!? For the record, I was typing up this post before I read that news account.)

Of course, Warner Bros. had a PR spin to put on the change of dates and supposedly show Marvel it hadn't blinked. But we all know better.

Anyway, "a Warner Bros. insider explained the decision thusly — '(We're) not flinching – it's a fantastic corridor for us,'" according to Yahoo! Movies.

The new release date marks the third time WB/DCE has changed when "Dawn of Justice" will be out. Since March 2016 is two months earlier than the last one, that means that's two less months we'll have to wait to see this long-awaited, sure-fire blockbuster.

As I said, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

Want to read even more CCC op-eds and features about "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"? Duh ... of course you do!

  • Here's a round-up of all my thoughts on "Dawn of Justice" on the previous online home of CCC -- even before it received that cumbersome title and I hoped it would called some form of "World's Finest."

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