In lieu of Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn’s admission that they are “struggling with” their decision to debut Captain America 3 the same day as rival studio’s Batman vs. Superman on May 6, 2016, I decided to compile a few reasons why I believe the onus is on Warner Bros. to change their release date, not Disney/Marvel.
Full disclaimer: I want both films to succeed, and even if both were released on the same day, I’d probably see them both that day. These are just my realisitc views on the matter from the perspective of an average moviegoer. Not a comic book nerd.
1. Captain America is now a “mainstream” hero.
After the critical and commercial success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (see Silverwolf and Elessar’s reviews), Cap has now solidified himself as a mainstream hero. Up until this point, Cap was looked upon as a secondary hero to his Marvel counterpart Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. has no doubt made Iron Man a household name, and I believe Chris Evans has done the same with Captain America. In other words, in the eyes of the mainstream audience, he’s not inferior to Batman anymore in terms of popularity.
2. The Avengers 2 will further bolster Captain America’s popularity.
If The Avengers film has told us anything, it’s that a film featuring an ensemble cast of heroes will only further bolster each one’s popularity. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World each grossed more than their previous films. As stated in #1, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been a great commercial success, already surpassing numbers reached by its prequel. Marvel has the benefit of releasing The Avengers: Age of Ultron a whole year before Captain America 3 and Batman vs. Superman are to be released. Captain America will be more fresh on the mind for many average moviegoers.
3. Just because a film has Batman and Superman in it, doesn’t guarantee anything.
What I mean by this is simple. I’ve been reading a lot of comments on various sites and social media platforms stating that since a film will feature both Batman and Superman in it, said film is guaranteed to break box office records. I wouldn’t be so sure of that. First of all, this isn’t Christopher Nolan’s Batman. That ship’s long sailed. This is a new Batman we’re talking about. The Batfleck. I wouldn’t get so excited just yet. We all know Batman is the bigger driving force between him and Superman for many moviegoers. If Ben Affleck pulls a George Clooney (in all fairness, I don’t think he’ll be that terrible, but there’s still a lot of potential pitfalls), it has the potential the kill a lot of the buzz surrounding the film. Which brings me to my last point…
4. Warner Bros. has everything to lose. They’re all in.
Unlike Marvel, who elected to take things slow and steady, WB has decided to throw all their eggs in one basket. It’s do or die. All or nothing. They need this film to succeed, at least commercially. If it doesn’t, kiss goodbye to their planned cinematic universe. If the casting choices (besides Affleck) prove a hindrance (i.e. Gal Gadot and Jesse Eisenberg), the last thing this film will need is to compete with a film from its arch rival, which will succeed no matter what due to a proven track record. Disney and Marvel don’t have to move. They know their movie will be fine, even if some of the thunder and dollars are stolen by their rival. WB should try to eliminate as many risky variables as possible. And for starters that would be moving their release date to a later time.
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