Let's get this out of the way. I'm of two minds of this above question. On one hand, Batman vs Superman will have no competition when it's released on March 25, 2016. No matter what's coming out on that day, everyone who goes to their local movie theater will most likely watch Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. At the moment, the superhero movie opens against the Beverly Hills Cop reboot, which might prove to be a better adversary than Marvel's [Captain America 3](movie:994409), but The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1 owning the week before and Clifford the Big Red Dog opening the week after. Now I'm sure there will be plenty of movies opening around Batman vs Superman, but Warner Bros. and DC are firmly planting their flag on that release date... again (this is the third time the movie studio moved the DC movie's release date).
On the other hand, Batman vs Superman will now open in March. March! The spring movie going season, which has been historically the appetizer for the big ass feast that is the summer. Now I know what you're saying, didn't [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) open in the spring and didn't that movie make buckets of money when it opened. Yes, you're right. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to a whopping $95 million in April 2014. Could Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice do the same thing? Well, maybe.
The big difference between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Batman vs Superman is that one is from Marvel Studios, a brand general audiences are familiar with and the ninth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the other is from Warner Bros and DC, a studio that is trying to catch up to Marvel and has to make a big statement about the strength and future of their shared universe. Risking the longevity on your brand has to go off without a hitch with a zero percent margin of error. Releasing a major blockbuster in March might be that error.
Let's look at the numbers. [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) has to be a billion dollar movie to be successful. Anything less than $1 billion, will be disappointing. The only movie to make more than a $1 billion is Disney's Alice in Wonderland, which was released on March 5, 2010. This movie received awful reviews, but gained an audience with the Alice in Wonderland, Disney, Johnny Depp, and Tim Burton name attached. Of course, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has the benefit of featuring both Batman and Superman, but will that be enough to draw in more than $1 billion in ticket sales?
The next movie that found success in March was the first Hunger Games movie, which was released in March 2012. Lionsgate wasn't prepared for the surprise success of The Hunger Games, which is why they moved its sequel, Catching Fire, to November 2013 instead of March (it also gave its production more time to make a better film). The Hunger Games grossed $152 million over its opening weekend and ended up taking $691 million worldwide, just shy of $700 million. The Hunger Games had that all-too-important young adult readers and female audience supporting it, while Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will not. Instead it will have comic book fans and 14-year-old boys.
It's clear that Warner Bros has a big picture planned with their shared universe of movies, we just have to see if they can execute their plan as well as Marvel. At the moment, Marvel Studios can just about sell anything to the general public and the stunning success of Guardians of the Galaxy last weekend proves that much for the comic book movie studio. Unfortunately, while I want Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to succeed (both in quality and financially), Warner Bros and DC have been thoroughly inconsistent if Christopher Nolan isn't driving its success. Just look at Superman Returns, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern for prime examples. Hell, [Man of Steel](movie:15593) was sold on the Christopher Nolan name and that superhero movie is barely a hit blockbuster when compared to The Dark Knight trilogy and Marvel's track record. Keep in mind; Man of Steel only made $688 million worldwide. Does that sound like a big summer blockbuster?
So is it a good Idea to release Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in March 2016? Why yes, but only it's a good movie. I will say that it's almost hard to have faith in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice with so many red flags surrounding it. I mean, it doesn't look good that your first stab at a shared universe looks like a risky venture, especially when your movie studio is not prone to take big risks. Since Warner Bros. pushed its release date up to March 2016, there has been a lot of pressure on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to be a smash hit. Marvel doesn't have to do anything after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy except to sit back and print money. I will not predict its box office now, but ask me on March 21, 2016 and I'll have an prediction for you then. Until then, set a Google Alarm!