Disney CEO Admits Misgivings Over 'Captain America 3' Release Date

Captain America

Ever since Marvel made the surprising announcement that Captain America 3 would be opening against the Man of Steel sequel on May 16, 2016, we've been wondering how long this head-to-head superhero action might last -- if Marvel was trying to muscle Warner Bros. into blinking first, or if we were really going to witness two blockbuster sequels duking it out for the top of the box office during a shared opening weekend.

Whatever ends up happening, we can be sure that Disney hasn't really made up its mind yet. In a conference call with reporters, studio chief Alan Horn admitted that the studio is "struggling with" the notion of debuting the next Captain America against superpowered competition. Refusing to commit one way or the other, all he'd say was "We'll see."

It seems all but certain that someone's going to give up this date -- and just as likely that neither studio wants to be the one to budge first. Although Marvel is unquestionably the cinematic superhero leader, Warner Bros. is putting an awful lot of eggs in this basket, and if they back away from Captain America 3 with a movie that's going to give moviegoers Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, that could be seen as an alarming lack of faith in the biggest DC-derived movie ever produced.

Ironically, it could end up being Warner Bros.' historic difficulty with superhero franchises that ends up working in its favor here. At this point, Marvel is a well-oiled machine, and if they say they're going to release Captain America on May 16, 2016, you can bet they'll be able to make the date. Warners, on the other hand, could (and probably will) hit any number of potentially serious setbacks between now and then -- any one of which could serve as a face-saving explanation for a delay.

Or maybe not! Given how many superhero franchises we already have, and how many we're likely to see develop between now and 2016, Marvel is bound to end up sharing dates at some point. Perhaps it'll be with Captain America 3.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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