We've been updating our Supermovies infographic a lot this week, with the news that Valiant is teaming with Sony to make Bloodshot and Harbinger movies, the announcement of a date for the Lego Batman Movie, and the revelation that The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are working on an animated Spider-Man movie set in the same continuity as Sony's next Spidey reboot. With that last announcement, something happened that we've never seen before on the timeline; we got a month where every weekend sees the release of a new superhero movie.
Sony and Spider-Man snapped up the last free weekend in July 2018, a month that starts with Marvel's Black Panther on July 6, starring Chadwick Boseman, and ends with Warner Bros' Aquaman on July 27, starring Jason Momoa. Fox claimed the second weekend of the month for one of its Marvel properties, and the pattern suggests it may be the next X-Men movie after X-Men Apocalypse; it could also be the long-rumored X-Force movie.
Ever since the showdown between Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice over the same weekend (a face-off that saw Cap and Marvel triumphant), the studios have been scrupulous in avoiding each other's supermovie release dates, so one a weekend is probably as dense as any month is going to get. Of course, sometimes a month has five weekends.
With seven supermovies on the schedule for the whole year, 2018 can't yet beat 2017, which currently boasts nine movies on its schedule --- though that number has fluctuated since we first created this infographic, and will fluctuate further. We're not done adding dates to 2018 either; at minimum we might expect a Deadpool or Gambit sequel and maybe a date for Harbinger.
So should we expect the rest of the year to follow the form of July 2018, with superhero movies flooding out at a weekly rate for the rest of our lives until Darkhawk cometh? Is this the new normal?
Probably not. July 2018 is unusual because it follows the FIFA World Cup in Russia, and studios wisely avoid major releases during big sporting events. For worldwide audiences, they don't get bigger than the World Cup. (Black Panther actually comes out the weekend of the final, but that's the least crowded part of the tournament.) Odds are good that these movies only clustered in July because June was off the cards.
So July 2018 represents an atypical clustering of superhero movies, and you may be eating a lot of concession stand nachos that month. Coincidentally, it's also the month that both Marvel and Warner Bros release their first solo superhero movies of their current slates with leading heroes of color; Black Panther and Aquaman. If you have enough studios making so many superhero movies that they start to line up like buses, eventually you'll get to some that don't star a white guy!