Marvel stayed strong and Warner Bros. moved first and changed the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice release date to March 2015.
The collaboration of Batman and Superman, two of DC Comics most intense superheroes, has been a project highly anticipated for fans all over the globe for some years now. With Batman’s tortured past and complex present depicted magnificently in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy and Superman’s difficulties in combining his Krypton heritage and his life on Earth given dramatic integrity in Zack Synder’s Man of Steel, in the film which combined the two, the stage was set for a motion picture filled with complicated emotions, spectacular drama and a lot of action.
The collaboration of DC Comics Batman and Superman has been widely anticipated
But perhaps, when fans were dreaming of this dynamic duo and the endless possibilities that the pairing and film could bring, they did not anticipate the rise of Marvel and its own brand of exciting and enthralling superheroes.
While not as serious in their emotional depiction of leading men including Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America, Marvel Cinematic Universe has captured audiences’ imaginations and filled it with an Avengers superhero world that fans simply cannot get enough of.
Initially, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was due for release in July 2015 and, when that became untenable, moved their premiere to May 6 2016. This spot was already occupied by Marvel’s Captain America 3. But surely this 1940s hero would buckle under the weight of titan stalwarts such as Batman and Superman?
Not necessarily. Marvel Cinematic Universe is riding a pretty impressive wave amongst the comic book adaptation world and their tenth film has just produced what is possibly their best outing yet with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier broke several box office records upon its release in March 2014 and, amongst a cacophony of release dates secured by Marvel, there is talk of an Avengers 3, Thor 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in addition to the confirmed projects of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.
Captain America 3 was scheduled to go head-to-head with Batman v Superman
Whether Warner Bros. believed that it could have outshone Marvel or not, they have subsequently chosen to move the Dawn of Justice release date again, this time to March 25, 2015.
While that date lies out of the traditional summer blockbuster sphere, there is precedent for fantastic box office figures for films released in March, not least Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the first Hunger Games which earned $153million on its opening weekend in 2012.
It’s impossible to know who would have prevailed had these two colossi of comic book heroism gone head-to-head. But it’s interesting to note that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the cornerstone of the DC Comics Cinematic Universe and must be a successful project in order for offshoots of the combination to have any chance of success. A failure simply would not do.
And if there is anyone who could complicate the success of Batman v Superman and the future of DC Comics Cinematic Universe, it’s Marvel and Captain America is as good a superhero as any to do it.