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Marvel v DC: The Battle for Movie Dates

Imagine two children reaching for the cookie jar, at the same time.

I never thought I'd say "Groot was awesome in that movie"

Over the past couple of months, both Marvel and DC have been using the hype machine to let fans know they're both in it for the long run. Marvel has had a string of successful movies and proved you could take a B-List team and make an A-List movie using the "let's have fun" model for movie making. DC is still getting their footing, but they seem to be on the right track to make films that appeal to a mainstream audience and make money, even in a post-Nolan Batman world.

It's a great time to be a comic book fan and one of the masses heading to the theater to see super-powered beings trade punches. Along with that comes a ton of news and sneak-peaks at what these companies are up to in the future. However, not all of this is a good thing. I present, to you, what I'm calling "DateGate," mainly because I'm not clever enough to come up with something original myself.

For those who missed it, here's a quick recap of this insanity. Back in July, Marvel announced the dates for 5 upcoming films, on top of that they announced two more the year prior, leading to 7 films, planned until 2019. DC, in early August, announced that they will launch 9 movies up until 2020. No actual titles or properties were announced though. Both companies are just playing the "I saw it first" card when it came to weekends.

There is nothing dumber than the date grabbing war that both Marvel (Disney) and DC (Warner Brothers) are both playing right now. Sure, these pieces of "news" generate buzz, but a few weeks later, no one cares because it's just dates. Marvel plans this many films and DC plans that many films, but until there's casting and pre-production actually moving forward, consider these dates more of a wish than an actual plan. When I was 9, I planned on being best friends with Bo Jackson, but at the ripe age of 32, Bo doesn't know Mat. I used to think long-term too. There's little to no doubt that there will be more movies from both of these companies, but fans are at a point where they just expect a new Marvel film, or two, every year now and assume DC is just following suit.

Here's where this whole Marvel vs DC thing gets even more dumb interesting. Right before the big DC announcement of 9 titles, they had Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice going head-to-head with Captain America 3, on May 6th, 2016. That's right, the two most anticipated movies would go head-to-head. Then, Warner Bros switched it to March 25th, 2016 when they announced the dates for the rest of their films. In an interview with CinemaBlend, director Joe Russo had this to say about the situation:

We knew when they announced that it was somewhat of a placeholder, that it was a game of chicken to see if Marvel really had a film that was going to land on that date or not... We knew it was never going to happen. We knew those two films would never stay on that date. So we knew somebody was going to move.

If that this whole chicken-game scenario is true, it's insane. This battle over having a certain weekend is just plain silly. Sure, there's probably weekends folks are more privy to going out to the theaters, like holiday weekends, but there are plenty of dates to go around. Many folks don't get out to the theaters as often as others and giving them a choice to pick one of two opening films may seem smart, but what's smarter is not planning them the same weekend, so you have a better chance of said folks coming to both movies. Audiences need good, fun, summer films, not two companies beating their chests to see who is dominant. The whole idea of WB testing the waters to call Marvel's bluff is silly and a pointless move.

Congrats. You can both pick dates. Now, what are you going to do with said dates? We know Marvel is working on Doctor Strange and DC has dropped hints at Justice League (which will most likely happen) and Sandman. I'm not saying they both need to lay all their cards out on the table because they owe it to fans. That's just as silly as anything else, but what they should be worry about is the quality of their films and that's it. The mainstream audience isn't dumb. We all know both companies plan on making as many films as possible until the super-hero film bubble bursts and we'll all keep seeing them no matter how much we complain on the Internet about casting choices because we were all genius casting directors in a former life.

If you two are making movies for superiority, you're doing it wrong. You should be making movies to get all of our money. As of now, you're doing a really good job at it, so less date grabbing and games of chicken and more awesome movies, please.

122 Comments
Edited by micah

All I'm gonna say, is that in regards to the BvS vs Captain America date battle. Marvel had the date first. But I think the whole chicken game is stupid, it just starts useless fanboy wars.

Edited by laabitres

@micah: agreed and ill enjoy both movies

Edited by dagmar_merrill

Nice write up

Posted by buttersdaman000

Didn't DC move their date up?

Posted by RavenVice01

They already settled this scheduling date problem about three weeks ago. BvS dawn of justice is coming first in march or April and cap will be shown in may. The only real problem is the lex luthor casting but everyone's saying just let it go.

I can't let it go because I know if this movie falls under expectations then this will set dc movies back. If superman and batman r just gonna be bickering throughout the movie and lex luthor is just a bill gates knock off then the movie will fail. We need lex in a battle suit and a batman rogue like mad hatter

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

Didn't DC move their date up?

Yup, by like a few months. Now we're only a year and a half away.

Online
Posted by The Lobster

I love both Marvel and DC....but Marvel is just killing it when it comes to live action movies, while DC still has it's head in the ground. DC seems to be trying to play catch-up since Marvel proved that a shared universe is possible. I remember when Batman Begins and Superman Returns was coming out and DC publicly stated that "Batman and Superman would never meet." Than threw that crappy joke into that I Am Legend movie.

Now they're eating their own words and trying to capture the lightning in the bottle that Marvel already caught years ago. Don't get me wrong, DC is doing way better on the TV and animated movie route, but Marvel is killing the live action theatrical movie route.

I fear for all DC live action movies in the future, cause they're going to be rushed, Full of exposition with little character driving moments, a lack of focus, and just loaded with pointless cameos in order to get to where Marvel is. Sure, Marvel likes pointless cameos now....but they spent 6 years and 5 films to build up. Did any of the films before The Avenger's have pointless cameos? Hawkeye in Thor maybe....that's about it.....But DC wants to do all of that in only 2 films....That's impossible....Someone (be it Wonder-Woman, Aquaman, or Cyborg?) is going to be pointless and shoe-horned in.

Posted by batmannflash

both Marvel and DC were going to get hurt by sharing the same release date. Marvel had the date first and instead of playing a game of chicken, the guys at DC were mature and moved their date.

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

@ravenvice01: I like how you complained about who got cast as Lex Luthor & then in that same paragraph mentioned the oh so unstoppable Mad Hatter

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

MARVEL wins movies and DC wins video games, cartoons, and TV shows. So they they both are equally good and bad.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

@buttersdaman000 said:

Didn't DC move their date up?

Yup, by like a few months. Now we're only a year and a half away.

Is Mabel on crack again?

Posted by A_A_A

I don't think Dc has a plan, if they had one, they would release movies in 2014 and 2015...

Posted by Perfect 10

first off this selecting of dates is nothing new. maybe cause its has to do with comic book companies so this is your first time hearing this but studios grab dates in advance all the time. tarzan which just started shooting had its date since 2012 for example. so this isnt a game they are playing this is a standard business practice in hollywood. also marvel had their date first so if anyone was trying to bully the other it would be dc but then they saw guardians do bonkers at the box office they blinked and re thought their strategy. for the names alone people will this movie what dc should have done is released it a week after cap then they could still have their boys club measuring brag party as they would wreck cap's second week pull

Posted by fullmetaladam

We all know both companies plan on making as many films as possible until the super-hero film bubble bursts and we'll all keep seeing them no matter how much we complain on the Internet about casting choices because we were all genius casting directors in a former life.

Does this mean my claims of being Ed Wood reincarnated have some validity?

Posted by HumanRocket

both Marvel and DC were going to get hurt by sharing the same release date. Marvel had the date first and instead of playing a game of chicken, the guys at DC were mature and moved their date.

I think the reasoning of the date moving for D.C is also because of the success of GOTG. GOTG open during Aug which hasn't been known as the best month to open a blockbuster summer movie, but we saw what GOTG did there. D.C feels like moving up the date a couple of weeks is a good think because GOTG proved that a good movie will earn well no matter what month you open it on.

Posted by Manute117

dont care will see all of them

Posted by MisterMiracle

I got a good laugh with the Bo don't know Matt. lol

Posted by AmazingWebHead

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Posted by micah

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Problems such as?

Posted by Joiner

Don't want to be that fanboy who says "they just copied Marvel!" but they kinda did. Same with Fox. Marvel was generating a ton of buzz in the last year for the (supposed) plans up to 2028 and booking dates. Fox and WB wanted to hop on the bandwagon.

And yes, all this has gotten ridiculous.

Posted by TimeLordScience

I think the mainstream audience is pretty dumb actually. The mainstream audience consistently lines Michael Bay's pockets with riches.

Posted by RazzaTazz

Then again if neither flinches, and they both keep the same date, then it could be a knockout punch for one or the other, either Marvel saying to DC "nice try" or DC saying "get out of the way, here we come"

Posted by StMichalofWilson

MARVEL wins movies and DC wins video games, cartoons, and TV shows. So they they both are equally good and bad.

Of course

Posted by MikeyJ122

Honestly guys, DC made the right choice by moving their date. Even though Batman and Superman are bigger names than Cap, I think Cap 3 would have killed BvS at the box office. My reasons are as followed, Cap 2 was a very highly reguarded film, it's coming in after Avengers 2 (which will probably be huge), and finally I think Cap is going to die in it. That's my gut feeling anyways. As great as Batman and Superman are, they can not realistically compete with the death of Cap, especially if their film is lacking character development. So on one hand hand you have the gripping loss of a legendary character vs (the possible) rushed together possibly under developed support characters in BvS. I would be very scared of that if I were DC, which is clearly why they moved the date. The critics could bury it before it even gets released.

Not that I think BvS is going to be a bad film, I just feel that DC has put all their eggs in Batman's basket again. And even Bats isn't immune to bad films, Batman and Robin anyone??? I would just be worried if I were a DC fan that they have so much riding on this movie, if it isn't great, it's going to get ripped a part. Especially coming off the highly reguarded Nolan series. They can not go from BB to TDK to TDKR to even a film on par with Batman Forever, it has to be TDK quality of good, which is probably a little to unrealistic honestly. Hopefully I'm wrong, but it just seems like they are swinging for the fences, and when you do that sometimes you strike out.

Edited by feargalr

DC needs to watch themselves. A few years ago I would have said Marvel are crazy to even consider going up against a Batman vs Superman movie. But now we live in a world where Captain America 2 beats Amazing Spider-man 2 at the box office, and Marvel can pump out a movie about what is essentially a unknown bunch of C listers (with a tree and a raccoon!!!) and rake in close to half a billion dollars in less than a month. (That's almost Man of Steel money for crying out loud). DC should be very worried.

Posted by Novemberx2

@madeinbangladesh: I think your wrong if I'm understanding you correctly.

If you mean Marvel as in Marvel studios then your wrong. If you mean Marvel as in any film based on a marvel comic then your view is correct.

Firstly the critical consensus is that the best 3 superhero movies go:

The Dark Knight,

Spider-man 2

X-Men 2

so Marvel Studios Movies doesn't win. marvel created characters do win by numbers, but Marvel studios doesn't win because the best Marvel films are by Fox and Sony.

The reason people like these films more is because these films have a lot more depth to them. The Dark Knight deals utilitarianism, deontology, escalation, order, perceptions of justice, the use of violence chaos etc along with well developed character. Spider-man 2 examines the heavy burden of being a superhero on the heroes personal life. X-Men 2 is uses mutants as way of discussing discrimination and ethics of achieving one goals.

Marvel Studio's films are Instant Gratification Actions Film, you enjoy watching them, they fun to watch with great effect but never stand out in your mind in long run. they lack substance and they tend to follow the exact same beats. This probably why people like the Winter Solider the most now, there's a good plot about deals with civil liberties, privacy and security and Captain America and Black Widow get some opportunities to show character development.

Edited by A_A_A

@mikeyj122: No No No,

Chris Evans has 3 movies contract

Avengers 2

Cap 3

Avengers 3

He will not die forget it... at least in Cap 3

Posted by viin

DC may be "behind" on movies but I would rather they take their time and make good well written epic movies. I get tired of all the mediocre marvel movies they pump out.

Posted by A_A_A

@viin said:

DC may be "behind" on movies but I would rather they take their time and make good well written epic movies. I get tired of all the mediocre marvel movies they pump out.

Movies are subjective but Man of Steel had terrible reviews and Cap 2 and Gotg had great reviews...

Rotten Tomatoes

Man of Steal 56%

Cap 2 89%

Gotg 92%

Posted by TheBlackHood

@a_a_a said:

@viin said:

DC may be "behind" on movies but I would rather they take their time and make good well written epic movies. I get tired of all the mediocre marvel movies they pump out.

Movies are subjective but Man of Steel had terrible reviews and Cap 2 and Gotg had great reviews...

Rotten Tomatoes

Man of Steal 56%

Cap 2 89%

Gotg 92%

Yes, Cap 2 and GotG were both awesome. On the other hand, Thor and Thor 2 were junk and Cap 1 was mediocre. I also found the Avengers to be ultimately forgettable with almost zero plot and a villain that could have been exchanged for any other villain which is a bad sign. Man of Steel wasn't greatly loved by critics but a lot of that is do to people still being in love the Christopher Reeves' movies and not liking the darker ton. I think Cap 2 worked because it went the more adult/serious route. On the other hand, GotG worked because it went hardcore comedy. The Ironman trilogy is the only one that blends the two well. Personally, I like that each company has VERY different styles.

Edited by A_A_A

@theblackhood: Again movies are subjective, that's your opinion, Only... But In Marvel studios entire run since 2008 no movie were so bad reviewed like Man of Steal.

2013 Man of Steal 56% in Rotten Tomatoes

_____________________________________________________________________

Marvel Studios Run (MCU)

2008 Iron Man 1 93%

2008 Incredible Hulk 67%

2010 Iron Man 2 73%

2011 Thor 77%

2011 Cap 1 79%

2012 Avengers 92%

2013 Iron Man 3 78%

2013 Thor 2 65%

2014 Cap 2 89%

2014 GOTG 92%

Posted by Zackisme

@a_a_a: Do you want a good DC movie or a rushed one?

Posted by Dernman

I don't usually agree with Matt but I do so now.

Posted by spidershamrock

Marvel had Caps date first, DC tried to bully them out of it or show that they were serious about building a cinematic universe. DC had to change it and look a little silly but in the grand scheme of things who cares? Now we get BvS sooner.

Posted by Comicdude360

Like both but marvel movies so far are superior. In five years it may be differant but as of right now marvel is killing it.

Posted by MonsterStomp

The only Marvel films I'm actually keen for nowadays is The Amazing Spider-Man.

"But, TASM 2 was awful!"

Man, shut up!

Posted by RazzaTazz

I fear for all DC live action movies in the future, cause they're going to be rushed, Full of exposition with little character driving moments, a lack of focus, and just loaded with pointless cameos in order to get to where Marvel is.

Still not really sure what people have against exposition. It is one of the major forms of storytelling which makes up a narrative, and if not for exposition every movie would be as long as LOTR

Edited by A_A_A

@novemberx2:

Avengers 92% in RT $1.5 Billion in Box office

The Dark Knight 94% in RT $1 Billion in Box office

Spider-man 2 94% in RT $783 Million in Box office

X-Men 2 87% in RT $407 Million in Box office

MOVIES ARE SUBJECTIVE ANY PERSONAL OPINION IS JUST YOUR OPINION

The ultimate goal of a movie is profit, who says otherwise don't get the industry, and terms of critic acclaim and movie going audience acclaim no one beats the Avengers movie.

What i think some comic book fans don't understand is that they only represent a very very very small portion of general movie going audience and a movie can't only appeal to the fans, here is where marvel studios makes the difference because they connect with all the movie going audience very well, that's why a unknown property like GOTG open domestically with $94 Million ahead the very known property's X-Men DFP $90 Million and TASM 2 $91 Million, Marvel Studios at this point is a so trustful brand that Regular Movie Going Audiences go see their movie no matter what's the Title...

Edited by A_A_A
@zackisme said:

@a_a_a: Do you want a good DC movie or a rushed one?

As fan of comic Book Movies I want for DC a Plan, and this changes in the releases dates, and The Rock saying in every press conference that he hasn't chose what character he wants to play Shazam or Black Adam, (He isn't the one who must chose, that's the director's job), makes me think they (DC) don't have a long time plan and only react to the will of the fans and Marvel Studios announcements...

Posted by DarthMummy

@micah said:

@amazingwebhead said:

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Problems such as?

Webhead, you are not alone.

Micah, every film has its problems. For example, Winter Soldier suffered from creative timidity. It pulled its punches, trying to tell an anti-government tale without being anti-government. Cap did not get a chance to stand up to his friends in SHIELD and display his integrity; the Nazis followed him from the forties, allowing him to punch his problems away without worrying about the corruption of the "good" SHIELD, which had been spying on civilians on a massive scale for a good long while.

Posted by The Lobster

@the_lobster_ said:

I fear for all DC live action movies in the future, cause they're going to be rushed, Full of exposition with little character driving moments, a lack of focus, and just loaded with pointless cameos in order to get to where Marvel is.

Still not really sure what people have against exposition. It is one of the major forms of storytelling which makes up a narrative, and if not for exposition every movie would be as long as LOTR

It's not that exposition is a problem; it's when a script has so much to explain, that exposition takes priority over character development. Characters are what make a good movie, and to sacrifice it for the sake of over-complicating a plot is a step backwards.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

@darthmummy said:

@micah said:

@amazingwebhead said:

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Problems such as?

Webhead, you are not alone.

Micah, every film has its problems. For example, Winter Soldier suffered from creative timidity. It pulled its punches, trying to tell an anti-government tale without being anti-government. Cap did not get a chance to stand up to his friends in SHIELD and display his integrity; the Nazis followed him from the forties, allowing him to punch his problems away without worrying about the corruption of the "good" SHIELD, which had been spying on civilians on a massive scale for a good long while.

That wasn't what I meant. My problems were:

  • The brain-numbingly obvious anti-government social commentary on "liberty vs security", the kind of thing I've come to be sick of seeing in superhero movies (I watch these things for villains like Dr. Doom and the Joker)
  • The film changed Cap from the likable guy he was in the last few movies to a boringly-invincible and annoyingly self-righteous Mary Sue that we're supposed to side with for taking down S.H.I.E.L.D. and putting all their files online (jeez, why don't they just hand Ultron the world now? I can just see Dr. Doom upgrading his castle and Mandarin finding and killing undercover guys in his group)
  • Between Cap being too unbeatable for me to get invested in the action and Black Widow killing people left and right, I'm more pissed than usual that everyone's constantly ripping on Superman
Posted by EyeDCyou

While I know that Marvel is printing money with their movies at this point, I still think it's silly to believe that BvS was moved because DC/WB were worried about losing out to Cap 3 in terms of sales. Cap 3 will definitely make a ton of money, but BvS will likely be the highest grossing movie of the year unless Star Wars beats it. We saw with Avengers that putting multiple superheros in one film results in raining money. Add Batman to that formula? Box office success.

Posted by micah

@micah said:

@amazingwebhead said:

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Problems such as?

Webhead, you are not alone.

Micah, every film has its problems. For example, Winter Soldier suffered from creative timidity. It pulled its punches, trying to tell an anti-government tale without being anti-government. Cap did not get a chance to stand up to his friends in SHIELD and display his integrity; the Nazis followed him from the forties, allowing him to punch his problems away without worrying about the corruption of the "good" SHIELD, which had been spying on civilians on a massive scale for a good long while.

I see your point. But to me those are more problems because of the story lines the movie is taking influence from. I think taking the movie for what its worth and for what we got, it was the the best Marvel movie to date. On the subject of standing up against his former friends, even though Crossbones was Hydra the scenes with him hunting Cap were some of the best to me. You got to see several times how shocked and betrayed Cap felt with his own former colleagues hunting him down and coming into conflict with him. But I do see your point.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

@micah said:

@darthmummy said:

@micah said:

@amazingwebhead said:

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Problems such as?

Webhead, you are not alone.

Micah, every film has its problems. For example, Winter Soldier suffered from creative timidity. It pulled its punches, trying to tell an anti-government tale without being anti-government. Cap did not get a chance to stand up to his friends in SHIELD and display his integrity; the Nazis followed him from the forties, allowing him to punch his problems away without worrying about the corruption of the "good" SHIELD, which had been spying on civilians on a massive scale for a good long while.

I see your point. But to me those are more problems because of the story lines the movie is taking influence from. I think taking the movie for what its worth and for what we got, it was the the best Marvel movie to date. On the subject of standing up against his former friends, even though Crossbones was Hydra the scenes with him hunting Cap were some of the best to me. You got to see several times how shocked and betrayed Cap felt with his own former colleagues hunting him down and coming into conflict with him. But I do see your point.

Well, you're right as well. Like I said, the movie had several good moments. (The Arnim Zola scene was probably my favorite)

Posted by micah

@darthmummy said:

@micah said:

@amazingwebhead said:

I'm still rooting for Batman & Superman. Which may or may not have something to do with how I'm apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think Winter Soldier was the single greatest movie of all time. I mean, it had its moments, but I still had a lot of problems with it.

Problems such as?

Webhead, you are not alone.

Micah, every film has its problems. For example, Winter Soldier suffered from creative timidity. It pulled its punches, trying to tell an anti-government tale without being anti-government. Cap did not get a chance to stand up to his friends in SHIELD and display his integrity; the Nazis followed him from the forties, allowing him to punch his problems away without worrying about the corruption of the "good" SHIELD, which had been spying on civilians on a massive scale for a good long while.

That wasn't what I meant. My problems were:

  • The brain-numbingly obvious anti-government social commentary on "liberty vs security", the kind of thing I've come to be sick of seeing in superhero movies (I watch these things for villains like Dr. Doom and the Joker)
  • The film changed Cap from the likable guy he was in the last few movies to a boringly-invincible and annoyingly self-righteous Mary Sue that we're supposed to side with for taking down S.H.I.E.L.D. and putting all their files online (jeez, why don't they just hand Ultron the world now? I can just see Dr. Doom upgrading his castle and Mandarin finding and killing undercover guys in his group)
  • Between Cap being too unbeatable for me to get invested in the action and Black Widow killing people left and right, I'm more pissed than usual that everyone's constantly ripping on Superman

Well despite some high end showings he wasn't completely unbeatable. Most of the guys he fought were hired guns (especially in the beginning) Batroc held his own against him, The Winter Soldier could have killed him in both of their major encounters, and the Hydra guys that ambushed him in the elevator almost took him down.

Edited by feedonatreefrog

If you two are making movies for superiority, you're doing it wrong. You should be making movies to get all of our money. As of now, you're doing a really good job at it, so less date grabbing and games of chicken and more awesome movies, please.

What's the harm in claiming dates? It's not mutually exclusive with making a good movie. It's not like Zack Snyder and everyone stopped making the movie while this was going on.

It wasn't silly to try to take the May date, which studios believe to be the best day of the year for a movie. There was a chance that Marvel would move, so why not try? Studios move dates all the time.

Posted by redhood21

I have much more faith in Cap 3

Posted by Pokeysteve

So happy someone else finds this release date s**t to be annoying. As if whoever kept the date was the winner. It's about getting the movies to the fans so they don't have to pick and the fans turned it into a Marvel vs DC d**k battle.

Posted by EyeDCyou

@a_a_a: Rotten Tomatoes is a great site, I love it. But you can't use it as a total basis for how good a film is. Man of Steel got a 56% from critics, but got like a 76% from users. That's one of the biggest differences I've ever seen.