The fourth and final comic book movie superhero blockbuster of 2014 is finishing its run in theaters with Guardians of the Galaxy setting multiple world records for its August opening and many weekends since. Now, we can look forward to what the studios will bring in the coming years, especially after some major recent announcements from DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios/Disney.
Looking ahead has been made easier than ever thanks to the studios developing these comic book properties for film continuing to announce release dates further and further into the future (Marvel added six around Comic-Con), and Sony attempting to blow open the Spider-Man movie franchise with a slate of movies that feature other characters as the lead(s). Then of course, there’s Twentieth Century Fox who are finally going to bring their Marvel properties to the forefront with annual releases and a “serious” reboot of the Fantastic Four. They even announced an FF followup already alongside Deadpool.
Finally, there’s Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment who are using the followup to 2013’s Man of Steel to launch their own shared cinematic universe. They announced 9 additional DC movie release dates and just confirmed what they all are. Everyone wants a part of the shared universe pie and there’s a race to plant tentpoles for the future. As a result, we currently have over 40 DC and Marvel branded films scheduled to hit cinemas the next six years, with a few more still unannounced.
- May 1, 2015 – The Avengers: Age of Ultron
- July 17, 2015 – Ant-Man
- August 7, 2015 – Fantastic Four
- February 12, 2016 – Deadpool
- March 25, 2016 – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
- May 6, 2016 – Captain America: Civil War
- May 27, 2016 – X-Men: Apocalypse
- August 5, 2016 – Suicide Squad
- October 7 2016 – Gambit
- November 4, 2016 – Doctor Strange
- March 3, 2017 – Wolverine 3 (Untitled)
- May 5, 2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- June 23, 2017 – Wonder Woman
- July 28, 2017 – Spider-Man (under Marvel-Sony partnership)
- July 14, 2017 – Fantastic Four 2
- November 3, 2017 – Thor: Ragnarok
- November 17, 2017 – Justice League
- March 23, 2018 – The Flash
- May 4, 2018 – The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1
- July 6, 2018 – Black Panther
- July 13, 2018 – Unannounced X-Men Movie
- July 27, 2018 – Aquaman
- November 2, 2018 – Captain Marvel
- April 5th, 2019 – Shazam
- May 3, 2019 – The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2
- July 12, 2019 – Inhumans
- June 14th, 2019 – Justice League 2
- April 3rd, 2020 – Cyborg
- June 19th, 2020 – Green Lantern
- New Batman solo film
- New Superman solo film
- Sinister Six (now without a release date after Sony-Marvel deal)
- 2015-16 is the calm before the storm. We go from three films to six, then from six to nine in 2017.
- We’re not counting any animated features – list is comprised of live-action theatrical releases.
- Sony has yet to date three of their movies.
- There are 30 DC/Marvel films currently scheduled (28 officially) from 2015-2020
- For all of the studios, the plan is mostly set from now until 2018 but after that we’ve yet to see or hear what’s happening from the studios with Marvel properties.
- Following Fox’s current trend, there will be at least 1-2 X-Men/FF movies in both 2019 and 2020 so we can add 2-4 to their number. (Recall: There’s interest and/or scripts ready for Deadpool, Gambit, X-Force) (Update: Deadpool has been added!) (Update 3: Gambit has been added!)
- Following Sony’s current trend, there will be at least one Spider-Man movie in 2019 and 2020 so we can add 2-3 to their number.
- Following Marvel’s growing trend, there will be at least 2-3 features in 2019-2020 so we can add 4-6 to their number.
- Conservative estimate is that there will be a minimum of 38 DC/Marvel movies over the next six years. If the genre keeps performing as it is now, there will easily be well over 40. (Update 2: There are more now…) (Update 4: Spider-Man joins MCU, changing Sony’s franchise plans)
- Is your mind blown?
- Is the genre about to peak?
Previously: At Comic-Con 2014 there were expectations that Disney/Marvel Studios and Warner Bros./DC Entertainment would announce a series of titles and dates for their upcoming features but both held back entirely, likely to focus attention on their immediate future. With both studios now (officially) laying out plans for their future, we can expect more and more news soon, especially since some of these must begin shooting next year (Doctor Strange for Marvel and whatever DC’s 2016 feature is).
Let the speculation begin!