In an absolutely unexpected move – and perhaps, a sign of the times – Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be releasing earlier, moving up to March 25, 2016 from the original May 6, 2016 release date.
While fans may be excited to see the big DC Comics crossover movie hitting theaters two months early, this is a remarkable blow against the film – or at least the studio’s perception of it.
Previously, Batman v Superman was to open on May 6, 2016. This date was also selected by Marvel Studios to serve as the release date for Captain America 3, pitting two major superhero films against each other on the same weekend. Perhaps because of the MASSIVE $94 million opening of Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring B-List Marvel heroes in a time during the summer where films typically do not open huge, Warner Bros has made the call to move away from a Marvel Studios film.
In some eyes, this may make fans and pundits alike question the quality of the film – surely, WB believes that the movie is better than Marvel’s offering, correct? But perhaps this is hedging a bet – director Zack Snyder has a great track record with March releases, having opened both 300 and Watchmen to great success in that month.
For whatever its worth, last week I took a poll of my friends, if they would be seeing Captain America 3 or Batman v. Superman first, and Captain America 3 won handedly.