'Avengers,' 'Thor' pushed back on slate

Three Marvel Studios superhero pics will debut in summer 2011, including the May 6 bow of Sony’s “Spider-Man 4.”

That’s to be followed by the June 17 release of “Thor,” which was to have opened in summer 2010, and the July 22 opening of “The First Avenger: Captain America.” Those two films are being fully financed and produced by Marvel; Paramount is distributing.

As a result of those moves, Marvel announced it’s pushing back the release of multicharacter superhero tentpole “The Avengers” from July 15, 2011, to May 4, 2012.

Company said the clustering of “Captain America” and “Thor” will serve as the perfect run-up to “The Avengers,” which will unite the Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Incredible Hulk characters.

“This new schedule strongly sequences Marvel’s movie debut dates, bigscreen character introductions and momentum,” Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel said.

The release date of “Iron Man 2″ remains the same: May 7, 2010. Par is again distrib.

Right now, Marvel titles dominate the summer 2011 sked, though most studios have yet to announce their slate. “Avengers” is the first 2012 title to be dated.

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