Warner Bros and DC should just throw in the towel now and admit they will never be able to do better than second place. Marvel is in complete control and they won’t be going anywhere for years.
Pick A Date But Not Any Date
Release dates matter in Hollywood. Blockbusters have been released within the same stretch of weeks for almost four decades because those are times more people are heading to the theater. Films reaching to win some hardware are released at certain times. Ever heard of Oscar Season? Hint: It’s not the time of year a spike in sales of bullet proof vest skyrockets amongst those named Oscar.
Production companies schedule the release of their films so that they have as few of films of their own competing for the box office each week. Staking a claim to a certain weekend years in advance is becoming common practice between the largest of productions. That practice serves two different purposes: 1) Lets the audience know when the next film in a franchise is coming and 2) Dares other companies to try and release a film around the same time.
Marvel has adhered to this practice year after year and it just so happens that “delays” happen with certain films and release dates are pushed back.
Summer 2015 was poised to be the biggest, craziest string of releases ever with Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, Star Wars VII, and the Man of Steel sequel. As of now, only one of those films will be released in their original spot, guess which one.
Star Wars VII has been pushed back to a Winter 2015 release, even though Star Wars was one of the originators of the blockbuster concept and all five films following were released in Spring.
But the big battle between studios is between Marvel and Warner Brothers, who owns DC.
Marvel has placed its stake in the ground as THE studio for superhero films and has dominated; however, Warner Bros. had a chance to knock them down a peg with their Man of Steel sequel and subsequent Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, but that time has passed.
Man of Steel may have been hated by a number of fans and critics, but there was certainly a place to build, especially once it was announced that Batman would be in the film. “The Rumble in Metropolis” has been pushed back once, with those involved citing the need to make the story as good as possible. Many saw it as taking the necessary steps to make a quality film, but a huge problem has come to light: the date chosen, May 6, 2016, was one Marvel already announced for a coming film.
Marvel: King of the Hill
Kevin Feige, President of Production at Marvel, has come out saying that Marvel will not be changing its plans, and as of Thursday Marvel has announced that Captain America 3 will be released on May 6. The Warner Bros. camp isn’t sticking to its guns it seems and a source has said that the Man of Steel sequel release will most likely be moved…again.
If Warner Bros. isn’t confident enough to release a film staring two of the most known comic properties in the entire world against a non-team orientated Marvel film, when will they ever have the resolve to take the big step that is needed?
Simple answer: They won’t.
And don’t expect for Marvel to move a release date due to competition any time soon. One reason is that they know they can compete against any movie that is released in the same weekend. But, the other big reason is that with Marvel’s current schedule of releasing two movies each year they run the risk of their films overlapping. Warner Bros./DC have one filmed planned to release in 2016, there is room for them to move to maximize their earnings.
Warner Bros. should admit that they aren’t going to be able to build the empire that Marvel has by following the same route. All parties involved with developing DC properties for the silver screen need to figure out a way to clearly distinguish themselves from the “Marvel method” and shock us all, not with announcements but actual footage.
Until then, Warner Brothers is playing for second.