As the old Captain America cartoon theme song goes, “when Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield…” In this case, it was announced today that Warner Bros. has chosen to “yield” and move the opening of the “Man of Steel” “sequel,” “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” to March 25, 2016. It was originally going to open on May 6 of that year, pitting it directly on the same weekend as “Captain America 3.” A lot of people thought it’d be Marvel/Disney changing their film’s date, given Captain America’s not as famous or high-profile as the World’s Finest heroes, especially the idea of the two appearing in the same film.
I can see reasons for changing the date, besides the insaneness of two major superhero films going head-to-head like that—though some on Twitter are disappointed they can’t go see both as a double feature. Given how much Warner Bros. has riding on this film (as a lead-in to their Justice League film and other superhero films planned), having a clearer debut date will help avoid fans’ money and attention being sucked up by Marvel’s film. It also takes a page from Marvel’s playbook with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” by going for an unconventional pre-summer release date.
That said, seeing a film starring comics’ three most famous superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) shifting its date due to Captain America doesn’t inspire much confidence. Also head-scratching is that the move isn’t to later in the summer, but to a normally dead time for major films like late March. This is on top of this film already throwing in everything but the kitchen sink (all as part of being a JLA film lead-in, of course).
For fans of both series of films, at least they won’t be forced to decide which of their favorite heroes will get their $11+ at the box office.