Warners Exec On “Batman” Move, “Justice” Reveal

Pretty much the biggest news of the week this week was Warner Bros. Pictures moving up Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” by six weeks to a March 25th 2016 release.

The move ended the showdown that looked to be happening between that film and Marvel’s “Captain America 3” which opens on May 6th 2016. Marvel had the date pegged out, but hadn’t announced a film for it yet, when ‘Batman’ jumped onto the same day. Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner, admits to EW they miscalculated:

“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. Just that they held onto it and they might not be able to deliver. But they took another position.”

One thing Marvel has helped prove though is that if you have a big enough tentpole, people will come no matter the release date. “Batman v Superman” opens in the final week of March, the same week “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opened around much of the world this year (it hit the U.S. the following week) and went on to garner $713 million worldwide. In fact the slumping domestic box-office this Summer, with week after week of big releases opening big and then plunging, appears to have played a factor in the studio’s move:

“The reality now is there really isn’t a bad week to open a movie. 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.”

Then of course there’s the nine untitled DC Comics adaptations through 2020 that the company announced the release dates for this week. Fellman says some these they’ll begin to be announce later this month. He was also asked if the rumors of Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” movie being closer than you think (ie. 2017) are true he said: “While it hasn’t been officially announced, I think it’s a pretty good bet.”