With all the news flying out about Batman Vs. Superman, you’d think this movie was being released this Christmas. There’s leaked footage, set photos, plot details, and an entire schedule of movies to follow it. But there’s still two years before we see this movie. Two years of rabid speculation and untitled release date envy.
But don’t worry, there’s a plan according to Warner Bros. President of Domestic Distribution Dan Fellman. This isn’t just a cold war of movie announcements and public relations between DC and Marvel. It’s a plan and it’s working because in the end, we’re all winners already. From Entertainment Weekly:
“The reality now is there really isn’t a bad week to open a movie,” says Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution. “If you look at the summer box office this year, you can see that there were so many movies, one after the other. You can start with Spider-Man, two weeks later Godzilla, and then Maleficent, and then Edge of Tomorrow, and then Jump Street and Transformers. And the one thing they all had in common, not one of them did over $250 million. We’ll be the first one up [in 2016], which is very important, and we’ll have six weeks before Captain America comes in.”
Warner Bros. could’ve saved themselves from the game of chicken in the first place by not being so confrontational. Marvel had announced May 6 first, but initially it was reserved for an untitled superhero film. Warner Bros., armed with its two biggest comic-book characters meeting for the first time on-screen, didn’t hesitate to trespass when it pushed back Dawn of Justice‘s original release date from July 2015. “In terms of going back and reviewing the situation, it looked to us—and maybe our reconnaissance wasn’t great—that they were not going to have a movie [ready] on that date,” says Fellman. “Just that they held onto it and they might not be able to deliver. But they took another position.”
I’m going to be honest here, there’s a whole lot of studio bullsh*t in that statement there. I still don’t believe that DC or Fox have any strategy for their movies aside from letting the filmmakers handle the storylines and copying Marvel’s successes.
And I don’t say that as a big fan of Marvel, which I am. I’ve always liked Marvel a lot better and I don’t try to hide it. You can’t deny their success though and I will never believe that any of the decisions from other studios that we’ve heard about to this point aren’t influenced by it.
Bolstering that notion for me is the status of the Justice League movie that will follow Batman Vs. Superman. From Indiewire:
Now the big question is what does WB’s DC slate hold? Titles will start being revealed this month, and with “Justice League” already reported to be shooting back-to-back with ‘Batman v. Superman,’ Fellman teases WB will forgo the industry standard two to three year wait for the ‘Dawn Of Justice’ followup saying, “While it hasn’t been officially announced, I think it’s a pretty good bet.”
Industry standard is one thing, but I get a “train leaving the station” vibe for the notion of pushing Justice League out right after. On top of that I don’t think it is realistic, especially taking the current track of Batman Vs. Superman into consideration. Unless they are going to film a perpetual movie where the actors live the parts they’re playing, I don’t see where they skip the two years.
I think the only true plan is to say you have a plan (not a Guardians of the Galaxy reference). Marvel has always held that they have a plan, from Iron Man to now. Fox has a plan with X-Men and Fantastic Four. Sony with Spider-Man. It’s only right that DC Comics has a plan too. The only problem is the lack of substance in any of those plans.
The bright side is we might get some decent entertainment out of the entire mess.