So as you may have heard, DC blinked. Although it appeared that they were initially willing to go head to head with Marvel’s Captain America 3 on May 6, 2016, WB/DC recently rescheduled Batman v Superman so that it would now hit cinemas a month and a half sooner on March 25, 2014 (which is actually a win for us fans). And Warner Bros may actually have been the smarter one here.
As we’ve seen with mega-earning releases like Gravity and The LEGO Movie over the last few years, opening a “summer blockbuster” outside of the traditional summer blockbuster season can be very beneficial when it comes to box-office takings. And according to WB President of Domestic Distribution Dan Fellman, who spoke to EW over the weekend, they’re very aware of this.
“The reality now is there really isn’t a bad week to open a movie. If you look at the summer box office this year, you can see that there were so many movies, one after the other. You can start with Spider-Man, two weeks later Godzilla, and then Maleficent, and then Edge of Tomorrow, and then Jump Street and Transformers. And the one thing they all had in common, not one of them did over $250 million [in the US]. We’ll be the first one up [in 2016], which is very important, and we’ll have six weeks before Captain America comes in.”
As EW notes, the first Hunger Games also released in March back in 2012, and thanks to its lack of other really big competition (and, lest we forget, the fact that it was a good movie) went on to break several records on its opening week and eventually ended on a $691 million tally, $408 million of which was just from the domestic box office. Ever since Steven Spielberg first introduced us to the concept of a summer blockbuster with Jaws, studios have been stuffing the middle months of the year with massive release after massive release, and it’s only logical that with such saturation of the market most movies end up losing big. If you’re a fan of comic book movies, this reschedule could not be better news.
But just trying to give themselves some elbow room to really pull in the numbers is not the only reason WB/DC decided to update their calendars. It seems that just had some bad intel on their main rival.
“In terms of going back and reviewing the situation, it looked to us—and maybe our reconnaissance wasn’t great—that [Marvel] were not going to have a movie [ready] on that date. Just that they held onto it and they might not be able to deliver. But they took another position.”
“Took another position” may just be the best euphemism I’ve heard so far for “released a movie to critical acclaim that made $713 million”.
Last Updated: August 12, 2014