The War of the Release Date: Super Summer Blockbuster Showdown

Did Warner Bros. blink when they made the decision to pull Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice from the May 6, 2016 release date?  That date would have put them in direct competition with Disney’s Captain American: Civil War, and some would argue that the fear of losing the Box Office showdown is the prime motivator.  It’s my opinion that not only would Batman V Superman have won the Box Office showdown, but that it is a big enough event to still break records while being released on March 25, 2016 instead of the normal Summer Blockbuster timeframe.

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Superhero movies have become big business in Hollywood this past decade, with even the worst received, i.e. Hulk (2003), breaking $132M (BoxOfficeMojo). That being said, there are numerous reasons why Batman V Superman would do extremely well regardless of the release date or competition from other Superhero franchises. Superman and Batman are the first two superheroes the world has known, making them the most iconic. The last 2 movies in The Dark Knight Trilogy broke $1B each worldwide (BoxOfficeMojo), and this Batman, being the first in the new DC Cinematic Universe, is being introduced in an Adversarial/Team Up movie with Superman, making this the first time anyone will have seen these two iconic superheroes on the big screen at the same time. While Captain America: Civil War is a team up of Captain America and Iron-Man, it will be the third movie in which we see both of these characters, and the seventh movie in which we’ve seen either of them.

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Batman V Superman moving to the Spring instead of later in the Summer not only shows that they are not afraid of Captain America: Civil War taking some of their thunder on the backend, but also that they are confident enough to believe that they will be able to hold the Box Office from March until May. Currently on the IMDB MOVIEmeter, Captain America is rated at 249 (IMDB) while Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is rated 32 (IMDB). Lastly, the biggest competition BVS has in March is Kung Fu Panda 3, which can not compete with this film’s mass appeal (MovieInsider). Therefore Warner Bros. did not in fact blink, or run scared, but strategically placed their tent pole film in a spot where they can break as many records as possible and maximize their profits.

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