Marvel made the announcement on its web site following a record-setting U.S. debut for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The sequel took in $203.3 million worldwide over the weekend, with an estimated $96.2 million domestically, for the largest U.S. debut ever in April.
To date, “Winter Soldier” has grossed $300 million-plus worldwide.
It’s widely anticipated that one of the two tentpoles will move off the May 6, 2016, date since they would no doubt cannibalize each other if both opened at the same time.
Monday’s announcement underlines the confidence that Marvel and Disney execs have in the “Captain America” franchise — and their expectation that Warner will vacate the date. WB’s “Man of Steel” grossed $668 million worldwide.
The move comes three months after Warner Bros. had announced it would release its Superman-Batman movie on May 6, 2016 — moving it back from July 17, 2015 — meaning that Superman-Batman would square off against a Marvel film that Disney-Marvel had not yet announced.
At the time, Warners said the decision was made to “help fully realize the vision.”
Speculation had emerged since then that the third “Captain America” would be the Disney-Marvel title on the date.
Production is currently under way in Michigan on the Superman-Batman film starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, with Zach Snyder directing. The tentpole also stars Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, in addition to Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.
UPDATE — Warner Bros. has confirmed a statement by domestic distribution chief Dan Fellman to Bloomberg News, in which he said there are no plans to shift the date:
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense for two huge superhero films to open on the same date but there is a lot of time between now and 5/6/16. However at this time, we are not considering a change of date for ‘Batman vs. Superman.’”