Rant: The Danger of Release Dates
So today is a pretty big day as far as comic book movies are concerned. DC has announced nine (yeah you read that ludicrous number right) new untitled films. Just in case you haven’t seen them yet well then here they are:
Untitled DC Film – 08/05/16
Untitled DC Film – 06/23/17
Untitled DC Film – 11/17/17
Untitled DC Film – 03/23/18
Untitled DC Film – 07/27/18
Untitled DC Film – 04/05/19
Untitled DC Film – 06/14/19
Untitled DC Film – 04/03/20
Untitled DC Film – 06/19/20
On top of this already monumental news, DC also announced that Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (terrible name by the way) has moved its release date from May 6th, 2016 to March 25th. 2016 meaning that it is no longer going head to head with Marvel’s Captain America 3.
So yeah, what does this mean for DC? Well, I for one cannot see Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Come on, guys, can you not come up with a better title???) moving its opening date as anything other than a loss to Marvel. No matter what press DC decides to spin on this, in my mind and the mind of many others, this is nothing but DC admitting that Captain America 3 would have destroyed Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice ( ugh) in the box office. I’m sure that is what would have happened anyways, but now we know DC thinks it would happen too. That said, that bit of news wasn’t the part that annoyed me. The part of this announcement that scares me is something that even the great Marvel has done as well. That thing is announce a ton of unnamed movies years in advance.
A couple weeks ago I was at Comix City Too in Madison, TN (shameless plug) talking with the rest of the OG crew about Marvel movies. At one point in the conversation, it was brought up that Marvel, and now DC, are digging themselves into a hole by announcing this many movies at one time so far into advance. I mean, how can you accurately predict all the way up to 2020 what movies you are going to make and then pigeonholed yourself into that schedule? My friend (I believe it to have been the great Gaumer himself) said he thought it was alright. At this point, Marvel knows what they are doing. They figured out how to make their movies quick and well and that shifting a release date or two wouldn’t affect anything. While I agree to some extent about what he was saying, I just can’t help but think that both Marvel and DC are setting themselves up for failure.
The main issue I have with the dates is how little they mean, but also how much they mean as well. Just as DC has demonstrated today, none of these dates are final. Marvel and DC can swap their dates around as much as they like. That said, just as DC has demonstrated today, moving your release date is tantamount to saying you lost. DC lost to Marvel today. Both sides will lose if they begin shifting around their release dates a bunch in order to manage schedules or avoid conflicts with other releases. I mean, what is the point at announcing these thing if you are just going to shift them all around? On top of that, so many of them have been announced that instead of having all your best people working to make one really awesome movie, you instead have them all spread out making nine different movies all at the same time. Eventually one of these movies is going to crash and burn and take the entire comic book movie bubble with it. All it takes is for the Justice League movie to be the Green Lantern’s movie quality to bring down the whole house. The same goes for Marvel. Eventually they are going to fail and put out a bad movie. Eventually they are going to throw so many of these movies out there that we wont really care about them anymore.
I just don’t see this being a good thing long term. Maybe they can make this work for a while. I have faith in Marvel at this point. That said, they are going to crash and burn at some point. I mean statistically they have to. I am pretty certain DC is going to crash and burn at this point. I just don’t want to see the end of these movies come faster than it has too because we mined too much of a good thing. Whatever, I’m done ranting now.