When WB/DC announced that they would be releasing their Batman v Superman on May 6, 2016, many fans were taken aback. That date, after all, had been “claimed” by Marvel Studios. While they hadn’t announced which film would open on that date, the Disney-owned giant had made it clear that day wouldbe part of their Phase 3 of films. By declaring that BvS would open that day, WB/DC basically threw down the gauntlet. They were willing to bet that Marvel would either change dates, or have something completely inferior to their title planned for the day- like a lesser known character along the lines of Ant-Man or Doctor Strange.
Then a few key things happened.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out and was a major hit for Marvel
- Marvel announced that Captain America 3 would be their May 6, 2016 film
- Guardians of The Galaxy did insane business- despite no A-list stars, a director unknown to the mainstream, and a cast of characters that were widely unknown to the masses. The success of GoTG showed that Marvel, as just a brand name, had established a strong enough bond with pop culture that it could open a movie with a talking raccoon and still use it to print money
Suddenly, this game of chicken didn’t seem so wise. It was clear Marvel had their game plan and would not be budging, so WB/DC shifted Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to March 25, 2016. A smart move by the studio, and a win for everybody- especially the fans.
So what do Joe and Anthony Russo, the co-directors of Captain America 3– returning after their success with Winter Soldier– think of all that?
“We knew it was never going to happen. We knew those two films would never stay on that date. So we knew somebody was going to move,” said Joe Russo in a recent interview with Cinema Blend.
He then went more in-depth about the current healthy state of superhero blockbusters and the pressure that creates to A) Open at the right time, and B) Make the best possible film:
“Weâ€™re filmmakers. But weâ€™re also comic-book geeks and movie fans. I want to go to the theater and be excited and see shit that inspires me, and gets me excited as a filmmaker. And so we wish success on everybody! Now that weâ€™re in the sort of heyday of comic-book films, you donâ€™t want anybody sort of spoiling the party. This summer was actually great because boy did we get treated to some pretty great movies this summer. So you keep hoping thatâ€™s the case moving forward.
“And it seems like studios â€“ and I think a lot of this has to do with social media. Social media is so quick to identify when something isnâ€™t working. You know, on Friday night by like 6 p.m., whether a movie is in trouble. And I think you canâ€™t hide anymore. You have got to show up with a great movie, or you are screwed. I think you are finding that itâ€™s happening less and less, that something that is not that good is doing very well. Itâ€™s forcing everyoneâ€™s hand, and really pushing people to do very good work.”
What do you make of all the maneuvering? What do you think of Russo’s outlook? Sound off.
SOURCE: Cinema Blend