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Marvel abandons a major superhero movie tradition as it removes its annual May movie

After almost a decade, Marvel will not have a movie in theaters for the first weekend in May next year

Marvel May
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Popverse

It’s the end of an era. As the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike action means that Hollywood can get back to work finishing the movies that were left in the air back in the summer, Disney has announced another re-arranging of its release schedule for 2024, with one unexpected consequence: ignoring the downtime of 2020’s pandemic season, Marvel won’t have a movie in theaters for the first week in May for the first time since 2015.

The calendar rescheduling of Marvel movies in 2024 is actually a dramatic one, with both Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts pushed until 2025 — February 14, 2025, and July 25, 2025, respectively. Meanwhile, Blade — which was going to be released on that February 2025 date — now moved until November 7, 2025.

That leaves just one Marvel movie for all of 2024… but even Deadpool 3 isn’t immune from rescheduling, as it vacates its May 3 slot for July 26, instead.

That means that, again ignoring 2020, Marvel has surrendered its tentpole beginning of May release, which had been an annual tradition since Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was released May 1, 2015. Subsequent May releases have included Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016), the second Doctor Strange movie (May 6, 2022), and the second and third Guardians of the Galaxy movies (May 5, 2017, and May 5, 2023, respectively). True, sometimes Marvel has fudged the dates a little by releasing a movie in the last week of April so that it’s in theaters for the first weekend of May — hi, Avengers: Infinity War (April 27, 2018) and Avengers: Endgame (April 26, 2019) — but, nonetheless: that May weekend has previously been owned by Marvel, and now it looks as if the studio has surrendered it entirely, at least for the next year.

Of course, movie studios — like nature — abhor a vacuum. So who is going to step up and claim the prime real estate on the calendar? Rest assured that Popverse is keeping its eyes peeled for the answer to that question…

There's a curious missing element to all of this: Disney and Marvel did not reschedule Fantastic Four, which is scheduled for May 2, 2025... but it's the first movie in Phase 6, and meant to come after Blade, which comes out in November 2025. Has Blade been moved into Phase 6? Will Fantastic Four get pushed out? Stay tuned for the answers to those questions, too.

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