Marvel Studios and Disney have absolutely no fear in the superhero movie game. That was demonstrated tenfold today with the news that they are moving director Edgar Wright’s ANT-MAN up from November 6, 2015 to July 31 of the same year (source: Deadline). It is a remarkably bold move considering the caliber of super-powered competition being released just two weeks prior.
Warner Bros. is set to release its untitled Batman and Superman film, respectively starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill as the iconic World’s Finest, on July 17, 2015. Marvel is banking on the idea that audiences will still be hungry enough to snack on the world’s smallest superhero just 14 days after feasting on two of the world’s biggest. It sounds crazy, but there was a time when even THE AVENGERS sounded like a pipe dream.
This may very well come back to bite Marvel, but the company’s unwavering confidence in its characters and films is admirable. Box office results, critical reception, and mainstream moviegoer reaction all suggest there is far more power in the Marvel brand right now than there is in the Warner Bros./DC Entertainment brand. If Marvel is still riding this high after AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, then having ANT-MAN in closer chronological proximity can actually be a huge plus.
Time will tell, but betting against Marvel has not been a smart call thus far.