×

Ben Affleck As Batman Gives Warner Bros. Upper Hand In 2015 Dating Game

Studio sets mega-franchise for July 17, 2015

Warner Bros.’ choice of Ben Affleck as Batman — and its dating of its mega-franchise film for July 17, 2015 — underlines the high stakes faced by Hollywood’s studios as they scramble to secure key opening slots two years in advance.

Setting the still-untitled Batman-Superman team-up with a prime release date gives Warner Bros. a chance to match or top Marvel’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” as the leading movie in the 2015 summer — and makes that summer one of the most competitive ever.

Fans Petition Warner Bros. to Remove Ben Affleck as Batman

The 2015 summer has already been heavily scheduled after May following Disney’s May 1 launch of the second “Avengers” and Paramount’s animated “Monster Trucks” project on May 29.

Pixar’s animated “Inside Out” and Fox-Ubisoft’s  videogame project “Assassin’s Creed” will open on June 19. Paramount will launch the fifth iteration of “The Terminator” a week later.

July has already seen two major titles set — Fox’s reboot of “Independence Day” opens on July 3 and Disney’s fifth “Pirates of the Carribean” on July 10 — along with another “Smurfs” film from Sony on July 24.

Batman Backlash: Ben Affleck Has Nothing on Michael Keaton

Warner Bros. has used the third weekend in July for its last two Batman movies, both which starred Christian Bale and topped $1 billion in worldwide grosses. “The Dark Knight” opened on July 18, 2008 and “The Dark Knight Rises” launched on July 20, 2012.

Man of Steel,” starring Henry Cavill, has grossed nearly $650 million worldwide since opening in mid-June. That was a solid performance but well below some expectations — which had been raised partly due to former studio chief Jeff Robinov’s prediction that it would be the top-grossing Warner movie of all time.

Before Ben Affleck: Critics’ Takes on Past Batmans

The second “Avengers” will be formidable in light of last year’s “Avengers” taking in $1.5 billion worldwide. That’s the third highest gross ever after “Avatar” and “Titanic.”

When Warner execs announced the Batman-Superman project as a follow to “Man of Steel” at last month’s Comic-Con, they did not disclose the date but the presumption was that the tentpole would be released in the summer of 2015.

SEE ALSO: Comic-Con: Superman and Batman to Team Up in Movie

Thursday’s announcement of Affleck’s casting included the July 17, 2015 launch date — which is likely to keep any other major titles out of that month.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content