The table has stage set for the two major comic book houses, Marvel and DC Comics, to duke it out in theatres long into the summer. The first punch in the fight was thrown on Sunday, when The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the final trailer for DC's The Dark Knight Rises will debut before Marvel's The Avengers, which opens on May 4.
The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final film in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. As THR notes, this isn't the first time a DC trailer's debuted before a Marvel movie. A trailer for The Dark Knight, the last Batman movie, debuted before Marvel's 2008 hit Iron Man. The move worked out well for The Dark Knight. When it opened in 2008 it held the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time, though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 took that title last year.
It's a genius move for Warner Brothers, the distribution company in charge of the Batman movies. The new Avengers movie is projected to gross over $150 million when it opens two weeks from now, which puts it in the same ballpark as The Dark Knight's opening weekend gross. If The Avengers does draw that many tickets, The Dark Knight Rises will piggy back the momentum from one of the biggest movies of the summer and ride it into it's July opening weekend.