The big-screen showdown between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. finally concluded this week with WB backing down and moving Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice out of the weekend it had shared with the third Captain America movie since January 2014. The studio followed up the announcement by staking its claim on nine future dates for unidentified films based on its DC Comics properties, as well as two “event” films not connected to the nine other DC Comics projects.
Instead of hitting theaters in May 2016, the Man Of Steel sequel that will bring Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) together on the same screen (along with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman) will now premiere a few months earlier, on March 25, 2016.
The release date conflict has been brewing since WB pushed back the original 2015 release date for Batman V. Superman, and chose a date Marvel had already reserved for a then-unidentified film. Given the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which outperformed Man Of Steel in worldwide box-office revenue) and the likelihood that sharing a release date would negatively affect both films and the theaters showing them, there’s been no shortage of speculation regarding which studio would inevitably blink and relinquish the weekend to its competitor.
The new release date for Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice now puts the film up against director Brett Ratner’s long-awaited Beverly Hills Cop sequel as the only other major release currently scheduled for that weekend.
Along with announcing the move for Batman V. Superman — and possibly to push some of the negative connotations of the news to the back burner — the studio also announced its upcoming schedule of release dates, which features nine additional, unidentified films hitting theaters over the next six years. The new schedule takes the studio through 2020, and claims the following dates for its upcoming films:
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
The studio also announced two “event” films for November 16, 2018, and November 20, 2020. Given the November release shared by the films, they’re likely to be two films in a new series or franchise WB has yet to announce.
Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder and along with Cavill, Affleck, and Gadot, the film stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, and Scoot McNairy.