There is a great game of chicken being played out between Disney and Marvel Studios and their rival DC Comics and Warner Bros. Marvel was first to stake a claim in the prime May 6, 2016 release date, though they didn't reveal their title right away. Because of production delays, Warner Bros. and DC were forced to move their epic Man of Steel sequel Batman Vs. Superman out of summer 2015. And they decided to move in on Marvel's turf.
Rightly thinking that pairing two of comics most iconic superheroes would trump anything Marvel had to offer, it seemed like Disney would have to rethink its strategy for 2016. There was no way the untested Doctor Strange could face off against these DC giants. Everyone thought Marvel would surely turn tail and find another open weekend. But no, they announced they weren't moving. And not only that, they revealed that it would be Captain America 3 opening on that prime piece of real estate.
Quite a few fans balked. There was no way Captain America 3 could take on the two-fisted punch of Batman Vs. Superman. But then Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to rave reviews from critics and fans alike. It was a winner. Not only that, it became a box office success with three #1 weekends in a row domestically. It has now earned $200 million in just three weeks, with a global take of $585 million.
But still, it can't win against Batman Vs. Superman, can it? While Disney was set to stand firm on their May 6, 2016 release date, it sounds like they are the first to start swerving the wheel. While its unclear who would be the winner, opening two huge blockbusters on the same weekend will mean financial loss for both studios. And Marvel wants all the money it can get.
Disney CEO Alan Horn was speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival today in New York, and revealed that the studio is currently struggling with the release date.
This is obviously the first sign of weakness. Will DC and Warner Bros. even consider backing down now? That remains to be seen, but it looks like Marvel may lose this battle. Or, if we look at it a different way, their schedule change for Captain America 3 might make them the bigger winners. What do you think should happen?