January 18, 2014 by Hope W.
It will be pitted against a yet-to-be-named Marvel movie.
Seriously, what is wrong with these movie studios? I understand Warner Bros. rescheduling it in 2016 if they can’t make their original release date in 2015, but *must* they put it on a date where a direct rival comic book superhero movie is coming out? Out of all the slots in the summer of 2016? When Marvel booked it long ago?
This is a classic case of brinkmanship — or to be less polite, a “dick move” — to see which studio will back down first and move their release date, because neither movie is going to benefit if they both open in the same week. Even if it were the highly-anticipated Avengers sequel coming out on that day — and it isn’t — their box-office grosses in North America will be hurt by audiences forced to take sides and choose one movie to watch. Because it is just too expensive and inconvenient for regular moviegoers there to want to watch two movies in the same week. (They could watch it some other time, but this is the summer season, so there’ll be another blockbuster vying for their attention then.)
It’s a lose-lose situation all around, and the studio executives know it, which is why it baffles me that they have decided to do this.
Now Disney, which owns Marvel, has decided to move Ant-Man two weeks earlier from July 31, 2015 to Batman vs. Superman‘s original release date of July 17, which Warner Brothers had replaced with Pan, their film about Peter Pan’s origin story starring Hugh Jackman in a villainous role. The mid-July date has worked very well for Warner Bros’ films like The Dark Knight, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises — which is another reason why people were surprised they gave up that prime slot to compete with Marvel in the first week of May — so it makes sense that Disney would swoop in (besides — probably — being a retaliatory middle finger to Warner Bros. for their earlier move).
So let the battle commence! Though I believe Ant-Man has the distinct advantage here over Pan (except amongst diehard lovers of Peter Pan who dislike comic book movies, perhaps), since Marvel has built itself into a formidable brand specialising in that very specific type of comic book superhero blockbuster that has shown wide appeal among audiences of all demographics, irregardless of their actual interest in comic books.
But we’ll see. There may be more changes ahead yet.