You Ready for 22 Superhero Movies Over the Next Four Years?

Marvel vs. DC

There is no doubt the superhero movie is alive and well and as the abundance of new films continues to rise, release dates become more and more important, set long in advance as marketing plans must be made. Yesterday the slate of superhero films coming over the next four years got a bit beefier as Nikki Finke revealed the slate of films Warner Bros. is allegedly set to announce at this year's Comic Con. All told, once you add up the upcoming films from Marvel and DC you have 22 films coming over the course of the next four years.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1/14) - Marvel
  2. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (5/1/15) - Marvel
  3. The Fantastic Four (6/9/15) - Marvel
  4. Ant-Man (7/17/15) - Marvel
  5. Captain America 3 (5/6/16) - Marvel
  6. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (5/6/16) - DC
  7. X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27/16) - Marvel
  8. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (6/10/16) - Marvel
  9. Shazam (Jul 2016) - DC
  10. Untitled 2016 Marvel Movie (Dr. Strange?) (7/8/16) - Marvel
  11. Sandman (Dec 2016) - DC
  12. Venom (TBA 2016) - Marvel
  13. The Wolverine 2 (3/3/17) - Marvel
  14. Justice League (May 2017) - DC
  15. Untitled 2017 Marvel Movie (Thor 3?) (5/5/17) - Marvel
  16. Wonder Woman (Jul 2017) - DC
  17. The Fantastic Four 2 (7/14/17) - Marvel
  18. Flash and Green Lantern team-up (Dec 2017) - DC
  19. The Sinister Six (TBA 2017) - Marvel
  20. Man of Steel 2 (May 2018) - DC
  21. The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (5/4/18) - Marvel
  22. The Avengers 3 (TBA 2018) - Marvel

Of course, the DC titles come with question marks as Warner Bros. hasn't confirmed any of this outside of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice date, not to mention there are now rumors Sony may be planning to delay The Amazing Spider-Man 3 in light of the poor performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which would throw the entire world-building efforts of that franchise in disarray.

Add to all of this the television shows including "Gotham", "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", "Flash" and the upcoming series of Netflix shows beginning with "Dare", which just cast Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin opposite Charlie Cox as the title character. It's about to become superheroes all the time, you ready?

  • navaneethks

    Holy shit! I don't like this genre much in the first place and now this over-saturation doesn't help. I couldn't care less for any of these movies.

  • Ian

    Can you say worst decade in the history of cinema?

    • GregDinskisk

      Maybe for mainstream contemporary cinema.

      But ten, fifteen, fifty years from now, what's going to be remembered and looked back upon? Not Captain American 8, it's the Locke's and Upstream Colors and Hers and Birdmans (if it's as good as it looks) of today.

      • Ian

        See I don't think those will be remembered by anyone but extreme cinephiles, with the possible exception of Her. The problem is the increasing bifurcation between the commercial and the critical.

        • GregDinskisk

          I really think they will. Right now, they don't. But they will.

  • Kingsley_Zissou

    This can't make the genre fatigue go any slower, at least. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

  • yrabadi

    Crazy. Just crazy.

    But yes, I'm ready.


  • Ron Oneal Fresh

    of those film, what do you figure the total amount spent on them, over/under 4 billion dollars?

    I'm just imagining a quarter of that money being spent on movies that would matter pass the 3-day weekend gross...

    Sticking with the Superhero films themselves, I'm sure there's one B+ to A- film in there, maybe 2 — out of a possible 22, that's a horrendous ratio. If they made them really good and/or tried for something ambitious story/character wise nobody would complain.

  • andyluvsfilms

    That is a pretty astonishing list. A few are wishing thinking on the studio's part. I can't believe there's gonna be Green Lantern/Flash team up or a Shazam movie. That's gonna be a stretch.
    I'd be interested in a Wonder Woman movie though. I didn't realise until recently that her character was created in the early '40s and like Captain America, she would fight against the Nazis. Bit more interesting.

    It'll be interesting to see after four years how many actually get made. Get Chad on that.

  • maja

    This seems like a lot to me so I tried to do some research on how many there were in the past four years:

    1. Iron Man 2.
    2. Thor
    3. X-Men: First Class
    4. Captain America: First Avenger
    5. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
    6. The Avengers
    7. The Amazing Spiderman
    8. Iron Man 3
    9. The Wolverine
    10. Thor: The Dark World
    11. Captain America: Winter Soldier
    12. Amazing Spiderman 2
    13. X-Men: Days of Futures Past
    14. Jonah Hex
    15. Green Lantern
    16. The Dark Knight Rises
    17. Man of Steel

    Based on this list over the last 4 years - I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see a further 22 in the next four years.

    • andyluvsfilms

      Plus Chronicle, Super and a couple Kick Asses.

      • maja

        Those too - I just took Marvel and DC as seemed consistent with the above article.

        • andyluvsfilms

          That's fine, just shut me down!

          • GregDinskisk

            Poor guy.

        • Newbourne

          There really aren't any other superhero movies announced for beyond 2014 unless you count Power Rangers. I do think that 2014's TMNT and Lucy should count though.

    • Newbourne

      If you count Super Buddies, Kick-Ass 2, Dredd, Chronicle, The Green Hornet and Vs, that's actually 23 superhero movies in the same timespan. It would be the same as this one considering Brad didn't count Big Hero 6 or TMNT and Lucy for that matter.

      • GregDinskisk

        I think he's only counting Marvel and DC canon, because that's what the list does too.

        • Max

          Then it would 19 over the last four years. Because Kick-Ass is Marvel, and they made two.

          • Jay Keats

            "Kick-Ass" is not Marvel or DC.

            • Max

              Yes it is. Look it up.

              • Akd

                Kick-Ass is published by ICON. I don't know why you're so passionately wanting it to be Marvel. The film itself was produced by Plan B (Brad Pitt) and Marv (Mathew Vaughn).

              • Max

                Marvel is the parent company of Icon. Icon publishes Kick Ass. Therefore: Kick Ass is Marvel. It may not be the same relation as Iron Man or The Hulk, but it's still a Marvel title.

          • GregDinskisk

            Those might not be counted because they're published under their Icon label?

        • Newbourne

          Big Hero 6 is Marvel.

          • GregDinskisk

            Very true.

  • DArtagnan

    It seems they have more faith in a Shazam or Sandman standalone film than Flash. I don't know how popular these two are but I've never heard of them before.

    • maja

      Wasn't Sandman one of the villains in Spiderman 3 or is that a different Sandman?

      • Brad Brevet

        Different Sandman... I think? :)

        • Ron Oneal Fresh

          Neil Gaiman Sandman, reading some stuff from wiki. It sounds kinda cerebral.

        • James Meiers

          What Ron said. Different Sandman.

          Short version: It's about Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, who returns to his domain after being imprisoned by a magician for nearly a century. In the process of restoring his dominion he has to deal with his family, The Endless (all various aspects of … Life, basically), Lucifer and various other deities and forces of the universe, and his own past, e.g. sentencing a former lover to spend the last 10,000 years in Hell.

          It's quite good. How it'll translate into film is beyond me.

  • The Jackal

    I've never been bothered by the rise of the comic book film, they are consistently entertaining (since 20008 at least). Brad, you might need to combine Justice League with Man of Steel 2. The studios announced JL for 2018, not 2017.

    • Brad Brevet

      Those dates are based on Nikki Finke's report

  • Winchester

    Yeah, I'm ready for some of them. Not all of them.

    By my count I currently only have interest in 9 of those 22 potentials (if some of the rumoured titles pan out) so that's pretty much an average of 2 superhero films a year. And some of them will probably actually be perfectly good movies in all probability since plenty of previous ones have been.

    In 2013 alone Box Office Mojo tracked 686 theatrically released films and documentaries. I'm quite aware I'm not presently following the seeming unofficial RoS line of snarking Marvel and Superhero films in general but while obviously the majority of these films will mostly be tentpoles and have saturation marketing 22 of them in four years is a fractional percentage of everything that will be released over that period of time so I don't really feel like they're taking over. There will still always be a helluva lot of other viewing options in cinemas and on TV for people who don't like them.

    • Ian

      How many of those 686 were wide releases (1,000-plus locations)? If movies aren't accessible to the general public, then you can't really count them in the same category and have a fair argument. Then look at the percentage of a studios funding that they get (production and marketing), because those are resources that aren't going towards other movies. There is simply no interpretation in which comic book franchises aren't the dominant genre in Hollywood right now.

      • Winchester

        I'm not at all denying that these are all very popular just now, nor that necessarily in theatrical release terms all of those 686 listings would be what would be termed easily available.

        However, my underlying point is there remain hundreds, if not thousands of hours of film and television content produced globally each year that has nothing to do with comic books, that is successful and popular and it's really not too hard to find something somewhere else to spend time and money on if they're not your particular cup of tea. Filtering out what was or was not in wide release any calendar year doesn't really alter that fact.

        'It's about to become superheroes all the time, you ready?' remains a bit of an overstatement as far as I'm concerned.

  • Steve Kemper

    "The poor performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2" - really?

    So $700 million = a poor performance now??

    Get a clue!! The 1st one stunk. But the second one was great.

    • robotsrule

      It was fine. But "great" should sort of be reserved for something truly deserving. Because if Spiderman 2 is great, what word do we use to describe the Dark Knight?

      • Steve Kemper

        That's easy ...

        IMO The Dark Knight = Outstanding. That's well above great on my scale.

    • Ron Oneal Fresh

      They made it for 450 million production + marketing. They're 200 million short of just breaking even. so yeah, as difficult as it is to believe 700 million for them is poor performance. They were expecting a billion dollar film so they could make money.

      • Ian

        I don't know if I would say they need that much, though of course it's all just speculation. But...$250 million budget which needs roughly $500 million based on exhibitor spilts (Sony handles all their own international distribution so there's no loss to other studios there). Then another $200 or so on marketing which they just need to make back evenly. Of course this doesn't account for splits with any other production companies (Marvel Entertainment gets a cut, along with any other below-the line companies that may have been involved), or back end for the talent (though that might not come in until it's profitable? Not sure about that one). So yeah, even at $700 million they're probably still in the red, but they also don't need to make back double their marketing expenditures so $900 million seems a little high.

        • Brad Brevet

          Well, unless they would like more than a couple million profit on a $450 million investment.

          • Ian

            Well yeah, it's still a failure, because even a $100 million profit on a $450 million outlay isn't sustainable long-term. I was more just pointing out that they don't necessarily need to double their marketing expenditures to technically be "in the black."

    • Brad Brevet

      It did worse than the first and was expected to hit $1 billion. That's
      called underperforming and why the studio is thinking of delaying the
      film until 2013.

      • Ian

        Given that the previous one only made around $750 million and wasn't particularly well-liked, I think Sony and a lot of prognosticators massively overestimated its potential. It's doing more or less what I expected it to do. Their biggest mistake was releasing that marketing budget, because now everyone (who understands the system at all) knows it's a failure. By the 2.5x rule it's profitable, but we now know that isn't really the case.

        • Steve Kemper

          I was not aware of the exorbitant marketing budget. It = another dumb Sony move in a line of such moves for them lately(glad I dumped that stock when I did).

          So I stand corrected, this would be somewhat of a failure by those standards.

          I think these studios aren't taking into consideration that these summer seasons are becoming more and more packed with blockbusters. There only so much to go around.

    • Jordan B.

      Compared to its massive budget and marketing push, not to mention the studio's billion dollar expectations, yeah, it's a relatively poor performance.

      • Steve Kemper

        Anybody who puts any weight into Sony Exec's expectations lately is not too bright. Not poor performance, that's just unrealistic expectations.

        Look at Edge of Tomorrow. That's a great movie and yet it will probably be lucky to pull in $250 million. And people want to label $700 million "poor". RIDICULOUS

        • Jordan B.

          Edge of Tomorrow's poor box office performance is irrelevant here. No one is debating that it will need massive overseas support to even come close to breaking even. It's struggle, however, makes a lot of sense; it's a sci-fi/action film, based on a little-known graphic novel, released on the heels of 4 well-known blockbusters (Captain America 2, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past).

          The thing with TASM2, though, is that Spider-Man is a known property with the Marvel name attached, and yet it (and its predecessor) has struggled to do as well at the box office as other superhero films, including Sam Raimi's trilogy. As it stands, worldwide, TASM and TASM2 are the two lowest-grossing Spider-Man films at the box office. What's more, TASM2 ($700M) may do worse worldwide than both Captain America 2 ($710M) and X-Men: DOFP (currently $627M & counting), which appear to have cost less for their respective studios to make.

          I used a word in my previous comment that is very much important here: "relatively." We can look at $700M in worldwide box office receipts for a film and most everyone would say that's a success. And for Sony, yeah, maybe it's a modest profit on their latest Spider-Man film (which reportedly cost between $200 million and $255 million, meaning it's probably fair to assume it was at the higher end of that range). But that's just it: films with budgets that big shouldn't turn modest profits. Let's look at the major Marvel superhero films released since 2012 (barring The Avengers). A quick look at BoxOfficeMojo gives the following information for each film after their 43rd day in domestic release:

          The Amazing Spider-Man: $256,159,253
          Iron Man 3: $397,451,305
          Thor 2: $199,799,955
          Captain America 2: $247,888,643
          The Amazing Spider-Man 2: $197,677,000
          X-Men: DOFP: $199,065,000 (only 22 days into release)

          TASM2 is the worst performer of all these at the domestic box office, worse even than Thor 2, and far worse than its own predecessor. X-Men: DOFP has been in release half as long as TASM2 and still made more money at the domestic box office, and will almost assuredly beat its worldwide total.

          Everything is relative here. Yes, sure, $700M in receipts isn't something we would typically look at as "bad", but with a budget nearing $250M, an immense (and thus expensive) marketing blitz, a handful of other superhero films performing better, and the fact that TASM2 will actually earn less money than its predecessor, I think it's fair to say the film is performing relatively poor at the box office.

    • GregDinskisk


  • Bazellis

    No more please!!!

  • robotsrule

    I also wouldn't be surprised if some of these changed or never get made. If Guardians of the Galaxy does really well it will likely come back for a sequel by the end of this time period...Oh and there's going to be six star wars films too to look forward to. So basically if you're a super dork you've got your bases covered for a long long time.

    • Ian

      Yeah Star Wars really should be included since it's likely to be the same type of film with the same type of appeal. Abrams did wonders with the first Star Trek, but he wasn't working for Mickey.

  • Michael

    I count 5 out of 22 that I'll probably watch (Guardians, Avengers 2, X-Men Pocky, Wonder Woman, Avengers 3). I'll consider seeing the Clark vs. Bruce court case if it gets great reviews, but I doubt that will happen and I have no plans to ever watch Man of Steel.

    Wait is this Sandman the Neil Gaiman comic? If he writes the screenplay I might watch it.

    • James Meiers

      WB is on its third Sandman screenwriter. It's not Gaiman himself.

  • Kessler

    Anything date past 2015 is not guaranteed. Some of them I'll see, some of them I won't. There will be other stuff to choose from once these dates hit, like there is every year, so forgive me if I'm not jumping on the "I hate Marvel" bandwagon.

  • robotsrule

    Based on an average of a 180 to 200 million dollar budget you're talking about over 4 billion dollars spent to make these movies. Now think about all the good that money could do elsewhere,

    • Newbourne

      And those 4 billion will easily become 10 billion. None of that money is being "wasted".

      • Ian

        Well if they all get a similar marketing budget to Spider-Man that $4 billion is really $8 billion. And if some of them perform similar to Spider-Man, then yeah, it's really just a waste. Especially given how many better and cheaper movies could be made with the same cash.

      • robotsrule

        That 10 billion will circulate mostly within the top 10% of income earners in the world. Some trickles down and keeps the economy going, sure. But most of that money does nothing for working people other than giving them more bread and circuses to take their minds off of how badly they're getting screwed.

        • Newbourne

          Who said it did anything for working people? Working people receive a viewing of the movie; the product that's being sold. They know where the money is going when they pay 15 bucks to go see a movie.

          • robotsrule

            Yep. People are complicit in how inane society is. They certainly vote with their dollars. I just think we should have the conversation. The choice is up to people in a free society. And the people are basically saying that it's more important for them to tune out with spectacles like superhero movies and football than addressing the serious problems that are out there. There's 10 billion to make all these movies but my city is filled with mentally ill homeless people because we shut down all the mental hospitals. Reagan thought they were too expensive.

    • Hudsucker

      Shane Carruth could probably make a thousand movies with that amount of money. Oh, and children in Africa and what-not.

  • Ariadne

    Some of this movie should be credited to Sony and Fo xnad not Masrvel.SURE the characters are from Marvel but Marvel has no involvment in making them.

    All this time i was giving the edge to Marvel over DC but watching this list i'm suprised that i'm more excited for the DC film.I mean a World's Finest film,a Man of Steel film and first and formest a Justice League film...these are film i'll be camping out of a theater to see on midnight premiere.

    And i think Shazam is plausible.And i think Shazam it's the DC film The Rock talked about.Whether he 'll play Shazam himself or Black Adam....i don't know but i think we are getting a Shazam film with The Rock sooner or later.

    Of course there is also Wonder Woman but i will wait to see BvS and JL before getting excited.

    The Green Lantern/Flash movie suprised me the most but given their great relationship ,it sound awesome.

    Out of this list i guess i'll be skipping Spider-Man 3 and every spin-off and both Fantastic Four Films.

    Also Thor 3 opening agains Justice League...not gonna happen.

  • Ron Oneal Fresh

    If the purpose of these films is just to make money, that without them studios can't exist or can't make smaller films (which I think is a pile of horseshit b/c never does the success of a Avengers or Dark Knight does a studio say "Let's go make Locke or The Master with this Dark Knight/Avengers money") No they go and try to make more Dark Knights or Avengers, Captain America If a film like Amazing Spiderman 2 cost nearly half a billion to make and it loses a studio money, there no actually good reason for it to exist. If it HAS to be made b/c it's has potential there's really no reason for it to cost nearly half a billion dollars...but for of course the reasoning for it costing so much is the special effects b/c god forbid you make a superhero film without the spectacle or at least reign it in to tell a good story b/c audience would never go for that.

  • Adu

    Cheer up guys, there's gotta be at least one 'best film evaaaa' in there :)

  • Zimbobby

    % chance they're presented in 3D? Glasses on...

  • PJ Edwards

    Can't believe that Ant Man is still the Avengers 2 follow up.

    Anyways, since I see most major releases, I'll probably be seeing most of them.

  • Jordan B.


  • JN Films

    Anyone else going to therapy for this?

  • B. Smith

    I could be wrong but I don't see all of these movies as being a guarantee, especially the weirder superhero movies like Sandman or Shazam. If these movies start bombing then I don't see them deciding to go ahead and make sequels/tie-in movies anyway. Though I am really hoping the Wonder Woman movie gets made, that is way overdue.

  • JessicaChastained

    All I want is a Black Widow one...

  • Lucky seven Sampson

    I can't wait for "Dare". Charlie Cox as "Dare" is a good choice. Anyone? "Dare"???

  • hectoruno

    Big Hero 6 was left out. Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles should count too.

  • hectoruno

    Deadpool should also be out by then and transformers.

  • Toadie T

    Holy crap, that's way too many, 8 in 2016 alone.

  • John W. Creasy

    The question remains unanswered:
    if superhero fatigue starts killing the genre, what do you think will replace those movies (speaking to people who look forward to the demise of superhero movies).

    Any of you picture a studio exec saying, "Well, these big-budget superhero movies are showing diminishing returns, so let's draw people in with different movies: esoteric, controversial, artistic pieces with long stretches of thoughtful silence!"

    If it ain't superheroes, it'll still be CRASH! BOOM! SAVE THE DAY! NEAT-O! of some kind or another. (And the "another" will be awfully, awfully similar to these superhero movies fundamentally.)

    • parapa

      It'll be videogame adaptations, mark my words. Assassins Creed and Splinter Cell will be huge hits and that'll become the next thing studios pull from and drive into the ground

      • Whatever

        ...well may be correct

  • Dave

    Just want to say that i am a big fan of all the superheros and it will be a great movies i hope if the writers stick with the Scripted.It should be a great movie so hope it will be.

  • Dave

    If they stick with the scripted than it will be a great movie.Just like the cartoon.But we know that they cant make it the same like the cartoon but if it comes close than people that watch it will like the movie.Also people like us will watch it 2 to 3 times in the theater we will see hope it will be good.

  • Troy

    Why do I get the feeling that half of these DC films will turn out like GL?

    • [A]

      ..only half? heh

  • Damien

    The Sandman is actually an intelligent mythology/fantasy comic with horror elements and superheroes only showed up in brief cameos now and then. I can't imagine how they'll make a movie out of it but it could be worthwhile. It would definitely be R-rated.

  • Sith

    People who are upset to see so many comic book movies; I got a solution to your problem..


  • Wayne Daniels

    And let's not forget Thor 3 slated for a 2017 release too! And to be honest, I'm happy with this current trend. Superheroes, giant robots, giant monsters.... Heck, this is a dream come true for me!

  • Whatever

    Wheres Hancock?

  • Carl Mastromarino

    It's one thing to have all these movies, but having the same heroes with different actors playing them on TV at the same time is just way too much! It looks like DC will finally be able to beat Marvel, cause they'll so oversaturate the market that Marvel too will lose money.... congrats, DC!

  • Droppo

    How about a list of romantic comedies coming out in the next four years? Or horror films? Why do people keep singling out hero movies and complaining that they are making too many of them? See what you want. Avoid it if you don't like it. It will play itself out on its own. As long as they are good, they will do well. They could make 50 of these movies in the next four years and I would probably see every one of them that looks like a good movie. (I'm done with Spiderman in the theater now until they reboot again... wait for Netflix from now on after these last two made me regret paying so much for a ticket to see mediocrity at best, annoying and boring at its worst.)


    These movies will be the only things worth watching.

  • G-Man

    I'm ready. Seems like a lot at first but there will be plenty of other non Superhero films to check out. I tend to find superhero movies enjoyable and entertaining, so I'm excited

  • Roger


  • bicyclebill

    Mind blown — and not in a good way.


  • Afarensis

    I am so looking forward to "DARE" when it begins running on Netflix...

  • James Meiers

    Marvel Studios has been releasing two per year, so there could be at least 3 more added to the list. Kevin Feige has also stated that if their estimates show the market can sustain it, they may increase the output to 3 per year. And possibly even 4 beyond that, but doubtfully before 2020. Also remember, Marvel has their releases planned out until 2028 already.

    And I'll also add that Big Hero 6 is technically a Marvel movie, though you'd never notice it by how Disney is advertising it.

  • lotl

    Adding to this list, I would note that there are many X Men related films currently rumoured to be in the works that could possibly be released or at least given the green light in the next four years, including:
    X Force
    Sequel to Apocalypse/Days of Future Past
    New Mutants

    On top of that, apparently Marvel may try to reboot Hulk with Mark Ruffalo based on his popularity from the Avengers.