Warner Bros. has moved the debut date of its Superman/Batman movie from June 26, 2015 (see "Batman/Superman Team-Up Film in 2015") to May 6, 2016, the same weekend that is slated to see the debut of an as-yet-unnamed Marvel movie. This may not be the last shuffle of superhero movie dates for the spring of 2016. Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse is currently set to open a week later and Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man 3 is close behind.
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. is giving the Superman/Batman date to Pan, Joe Wright’s 3-D action movie updating of Peter Pan. The switch to the June 26th date keeps Pan from having to open against what is expected to be a blockbuster comedy Ted 2 from Seth McFarlane and Universal and keeps the Superman/Batman film from having to open between a Fantastic Four movie and a reboot of the Terminator franchise. Deadline also reports that an unnamed Warner executive denied rumors that the delay in Superman/Batman is due to a leg injury sustained by Ben Affleck who is playing Batman.
The postponed debut of Superman/Batman is a blow, though hardly a mortal one, to Warner Bros. plans to create a DC equivalent to Marvel’s presence in the cinematic sphere. In spite of the solid success of Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman movie franchise with Man of Steel this past summer, audiences will now have to wait until the spring of 2016 for another DC superhero tentpole. At this point the Warner Bros./DC movie axis is chugging along like a Trabant while Disney and Marvel dominate the fast lane with a top-of-the line Range Rover. In the ever fickle world of pop culture things can change in a hurry (Marvel Studio’s fortunes could plummet if Guardians of the Galaxy flops), but the pace of change in the Warner Bros. attempt to utilize DC’s stable of heroes on the big screen appears to be little better than glacial.
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