Here's the Marvel & DC Comics Movie Dates So Far - Is It Too Much?
by Ethan Anderton
August 7, 2014
Just yesterday, Warner Bros. blinked in their face-off with Marvel that would have seen Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice going head-to-head with Captain America 3 on May 6th, 2016. But neither studio would have won in that scenario, so Warner Bros. made the smart decision to move the film to March 25th, 2016. Either the studio aims to start summer early, or they see what's becoming more and more obvious: blockbusters don't need to open during the summer anymore. But along with this date shift, the studio also announced a slew of new release dates for DC Comics films through 2020, adding to Marvel's future slate that runs through 2019. But is this truly exciting stuff, or just overkill? More below!
First of all, here's the complete list of films based on Marvel and DC Comics on the way:
The Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1st, 2015
Fantastic Four - June 19th, 2015
Ant-Man - July 17th, 2015
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - March 25th, 2016
Captain America 3 - May 6th, 2016
X-Men: Age of Apocalypse - May 27th, 2016
Untitled Marvel Film (Doctor Strange?) - July 8th, 2016
Untitled DC Film - August 5th, 2016
The Sinister Six - November 11th, 2016
Untitled Female Spider-Man Universe Film - TBA 2017 (?)
Venom Carnage - TBA 2017 (?)
The Wolverine 2 - March 3rd, 2017
Untitled Marvel Film - May 5th, 2017
Untitled DC Film (Justice League?) - June 23rd, 2017
Fantastic Four 2 -July 14th, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - July 28th, 2017
Untitled Marvel Film - November 3rd, 2017
Untitled DC Film - November 17th, 2017
Amazing Spider-Man 3 - TBA 2018
Untitled DC Film - March 23rd, 2017
Untitled Marvel Film (Avengers 3?) - May 4th, 2018
Untitled Marvel Film - July 6th, 2018
Untitled Fox (Marvel) Film - July 13th, 2018
Untitled DC Film - July 27th, 2018
Untitled Marvel Film - November 2nd, 2018
Untitled DC Film - April 5th, 2019
Untitled Marvel Film - May 3rd, 2019
Untitled DC Film - June 14th, 2019
Untitled DC Film - April 3rd, 2020
Untitled DC Film - June 19th, 2020
Whew! That was exhausting. Take notice that we've included the Marvel movies that are situated at 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures as well, just so we can take full stock of how the two primary comic book companies are duking it out at the box office. Otherwise, Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment will be releasing two comic book movies every year for the next six years (so far), with DC having a leg up by venturing their schedule deeper into 2019 and all the way into 2020. This is the way Hollywood works now: staking out release dates before a project (or product as it seems) is even remotely ready for hype.
But with the lesser known comic book property Guardians of the Galaxy exceeding expectations last weekend, it appears audiences are showing no sign of fatigue, at least when it comes to Marvel Studios. On the other hand, Sony Pictures is having trouble rounding up interest in The Amazing Spider-Man universe, forcing them to shuffle some dates, and even try to strike while the iron is hot on female led action films by planning some kind of female superhero set within the confines of their shaky Spider-Man cinematic universe, not to mention their Sinister Six and Venom spin-offs. Meanwhile, DC is still playing catch-up by venturing into ensemble territory by having Batman and Superman share the big screen for the first time (with Justice League not too far behind).
Looking at this schedule, we have to wonder if this is just too much. As Sony is currently showing, planning ahead doesn't always work out, especially when your films don't perform as well as initially thought. Though that doesn't seem to be a problem for Marvel Studios for now (the struggles behind the scenes for Ant-Man could prove to be a problem, but we'll find that out next year). At the same time, if fans see that the studios have a grand plan for their comic book universe, then they might be more inclined to invest in each and every film as it's released. Again, that's something that Marvel Studios has done very well.
At the end of the day, it's becoming clear that comic book movies aren't going anywhere, and audiences aren't sick of them at all. However, what studios are beginning to notice is that audiences just might be getting tired of certain heroes, and the horizon needs to be broadened a bit. The problem Sony has is they are limited to the Spider-Man comics while Marvel has a huge playground of untapped characters that they can turn into household names. 20th Century Fox doesn't quite have that issue because of how expansive the X-Men roster is, allowing them to plan tons of standalone movies, like the forthcoming Gambit spin-off, likely to bring Channing Tatum into the comic book playground.
We're on the verge of seeing Marvel and DC take the battle that once fueled comic book sales unfold on the big screen, but with much higher risks and stakes. These are multi-million dollar films, backed by endless merchandising, that might not work out, thereby throwing a wrench in any bigger plans that any of these studios may have had. This mentality of planting a flag in the future for hype is dangerous, mostly because it means too much focus is being put on an uncertain future. Do movie studios need to slow down? Do you like knowing a grand scheme coming down the road? Are you sick of comic book movies? Sound off below!