Warner Bros. has moved up the release date of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" from May 6, 2016 to March 25, 2016, as reported Wednesday by Variety.
This shift removes the film from head-to-head contention with Marvel Studios' third "Captain America" film. A Marvel vs. DC Comics box office battle certainly got the attention of observers, but also led to speculation as to if -- or when -- one of the two studios would back out of the date.
This is the third release date Warner Bros. has scheduled for the "Man of Steel" follow-up: It was first set for July 17, 2015, before being pushed back nearly 10 months to its prior date.
Spring has become an increasingly popular season for blockbuster films, a trend that dates back at least to another comic book-based movie: "300," which opened to major numbers in March 2007. This year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" was released in early April, and the first "Hunger Games" film debuted in March 2012. There's even a history of March releases and adaptations of DC Comics releases: "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta" both premiered in March (2009 and 2007, respectively).
Along with the "Batman v Superman" move, Deadline has an ambitious slate of released dates freshly announced as claimed by Warner Bros. for nine as-yet unannounced DC films through 2020, which follows:
"Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice" – 03/25/16 Untitled DC Film – 08/05/16 Untitled DC Film – 06/23/17 Untitled DC Film – 11/17/17 Untitled DC Film – 03/23/18 Untitled DC Film – 07/27/18 Untitled DC Film – 04/05/19 Untitled DC Film – 06/14/19 Untitled DC Film – 04/03/20 Untitled DC Film – 06/19/20
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill in his return as Superman, Ben Affleck in his first film as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in that character's first live-action feature film appearance, is expected to lead to a "Justice League" film, which will presumably take one of the newly claimed dates.