Captain America vs Batman vs Superman On May 6, 2016
Marvel Studios announced they would be releasing an unnamed movie on May 6, 2016. Then Warner Bros announced they were moving Batman vs Superman from July of 2015 to May 6 of 2016, putting DC and Marvel - the two titans of superhero comics - head to head. Everybody assumed Marvel would blink; after all they didn't even have a title on that date, just a vague idea of opening a movie.
Today they doubled down. They announced that Captain America 3 will open on May 6th, directly opposite Batman vs Superman. The flagship characters for these two comic book universes will collide in your local cineplex on that date. Unless somebody moves, and there's already been rumors that Warner Bros is moving Batman vs Superman up a week (rumors that hit before Captain America 3 was announced).
What a competition! Batman vs Superman is going to be enormous. Captain America: The First Avenger did okay, but wasn't exactly a record-shattering release. But here's the thing: Cap 3 is just as much a sequel to The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron as it is to the excellent, and I bet well-received Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If The Winter Soldier is a big hit (and I think it will be), Cap 3 could be a really huge movie.
Who'da thunk we'd get not just Batman versus Superman in a movie, but that a Captain America film could be a contender against them? Of course all of this could change; Marvel has made this announcement now with strategy in mind. Partially they're signalling how proud they are of Winter Soldier, but partially they're also taunting Warner Bros. They may also have inside knowledge that the rumor of WB moving their film is true, and they could be pre-emptively getting their flag in the ground to humiliate the Distinguished Competition. God, I love it.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier ends on what the Russo Brothers described to me as an 'emotional cliffhanger;' audiences will be eager to find out what happens next in this saga. Marvel is a company firing on all cylinders, while Warner Bros is stumbling around in the DC Universe like a panicked deer. The smartest money says that the big names of Batman vs Superman will prevail, but I suspect that Marvel is making a canny move here.