Batman-Superman moves in on ‘Marvel May’

tu-batman-supermanSummer 2015 just got a little less crowded.

Summer 2016 just got a whole lot more interesting.

Word came late Friday that Warner Bros. was pushing its biggest 2015 film, the still-untitled Batman-Superman team-up, back almost a full year.

The film will now hit theaters May 6, 2016.

While fans might protest the delay, there are two reasons Warner Bros. executives have reason to smile tonight.

First, they’ve saved their heroes from suffocating in one of the most crowded summer schedules in recent years.

Batman and Superman faced a three-pronged assault from Marvel Comics, which is headlining the summer with three films: Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, a rebooted Fantastic Four and the biggest of them all, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If that wasn’t enough, new entries in the Fast & Furious, Terminator, Jurassic Park, Mad Max and Bourne franchises also threatened to steal some of the spotlight (and box office) from the DC heroes.

Warner is hoping to use Batman-Superman as a launch pad for a long-awaited Justice League film that could include Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern.

Why steer that potential franchise into the frenzy and risk Batman-Superman becoming the “other superhero film” of the summer?

Friday’s announcement signals a strategy shift for Warner — a declaration that it will no longer be the runner-up in the annual summer of superheroes.

Marvel owns the month of May. Even before Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, the X-Men and Spider-Man were kicking off the summer movie season in May, and breaking box office records with sequel after sequel.

Now, the DC heroes are moving in on “Marvel May” and planting a flag of their own.

If its rivals yield rather than defend their territory, Batman-Superman could have a clear field of two, possibly three weekends as the biggest heroes on the block.

Come to think of it, that’s a lot of time to win over new fans and lay the groundwork for future films.

Warner appears to be following the Avengers blueprint; perhaps they’re already maneuvering a second superhero tentpole to follow that same summer?

It worked for Marvel.

Avengers assemble on Las Vegas Strip

Madame Tussauds is adding to its superhero lineup at the Venetian.

The museum will host a rope-cutting ceremony on Wednesday for its new Marvel 4D theater featuring The Avengers and other popular heroes.

The announced lineup includes Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America.

It’s billed as the “largest lineup of Marvel figures” but only the “core four” of the Avengers team were mentioned in the announcement. I know Madame Tussauds has also created statues of Hulk, Spider-Man, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, so maybe they’ll also be there.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Madame Tussauds, but occasionally their people will bring a statue by the station for one of our shows.

Thor was here earlier this year, and the likeness was incredible. We were told Chris Hemsworth spent two days modeling for the figure.

According to a news release, the “4D” portion of the Marvel exhibit features a 10-minute film and special effects inside the theater – shaking seats, water splashes, etc.

This isn’t the only Marvel news making headlines in Las Vegas this week. Word on the street is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is closing on Broadway and looking for new digs on the Strip.

The Associated Press reported that the official announcement will be made in the coming weeks. Looks like our entertainment team will be busy today trying to find out where the show will land.