Warner Bros. has perplexed fans of comics and casual moviegoers alike for years, with their lack of strategy and vision in regards to their DC Comics properties. Unlike Marvel Studios, who only own a percentage of Marvel Comics' characters, leaving fan-favorite franchises such as Spider-Man and X-Men in other studio's hands. WB has owned the entire DC Comics library for years. Most characters such as [Wonder Woman](movie:45787), The Flash and Aquaman haven't even been a serious consideration for the studio, who seem to have just recently figured out that they are sitting on a goldmine of intellectual property.
Warner Bros. declined to make any big-picture announcements at San Diego Comic Con this year, but there is a major change happening to the next DC property out of the gate, [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870). About a year ago, Warner Bros. announced that Batman vs Superman would be released on May 6th, 2016. The exact same date as the upcoming Captain America 3. However this was well before Captain America: The Winter Solider was released and before it became a world-wide success. In a showdown suitable for the wild west, neither company has budged until today. The Wrap is reporting that Warner Bros has changed the official release date of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Moving it out of the summer time frame altogether to March 25th, 2016.
Since the release of Star Wars on May 25th 1977, the summer season has been synonymous with big event films. They get no larger than a movie with Batman and Superman trading blows on-screen. In fact, it could certainly be argued that this is the most anticipated film in cinematic history, rivaled by only a select few such as, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Once you calculate the two DC characters combined box-office totals and cultural significance, it becomes clear how enormous the anticipation truly is.
However, this move isn't one made out of weakness by WB, in fact it shows that they are forward-thinking. The Hunger Games opened in late March 2012 as well, the eagerly anticipated movie made $155 million in it's opening weekend. While The Winter Solider opened to over $96 million in April of this year. Releasing Dawn of Justice in March allows Warner Bros to continue selling tickets into the summer season, since competition wont be as imposing in those early months.
The bottom line... we get to see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman on the big screen two months earlier and it's hard to complain about that!
So what do you think about the move? Was WB actually scared of what Marvel is cooking up for [Captain America 3](movie:994409)?
Sources: Point of Geeks, The Wrap