‘Captain America 3′ to open May 6, 2016, opposite ‘Man of Steel’ sequel

April 07, 2014 | 10:14 a.m.

Mark your calendars.

The release date showdown between Captain America and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman is now official — Marvel has confirmed that its follow-up to the box office smash “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will open May 6, 2016, the same date staked out by Warner Bros. for its “Man of Steel” sequel.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” soared to a domestic box office record of $96.2 million in its opening this weekend, making it the best-ever April debut of a movie. The latest in an unbroken chain of big screen successes for comic book movie powerhouse Marvel, the sequel, generated just more than $207 million in its first 10 days overseas.

The follow-up to 2013′s “Man of Steel,” which will pair Henry Cavill’s Superman with Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, is also set to open in theaters May 6, 2016 — a weekend that now stands to represent the biggest superhero invasion of the multiplex on record and a straight-ahead contest between Marvel and DC movie properties. (It does seem likely that one of the movies would choose a different weekend to open to avoid cannibalizing each other’s box office, but for now, that’s simply speculation.)

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” directors (and brothers) Joe and Anthony Russo already have signed on to direct the third standalone film to star Chris Evans as patriotic hero Steve Rogers from a script penned by “Winter Soldier” scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

“Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder is also set to return to helm his super sequel, the follow-up to his 2013 blockbuster that grossed more than $668 million at the worldwide box office. The as-yet-untitled film generated early controversy, however, with the announcement that Affleck as Batman would inherit the cape and cowl from actor Christian Bale.

Equally contentious was the selection of boyish “Social Network” star Jesse Eisenberg, 30, to portray the part of Superman’s traditionally burly, bald and middle-aged arch nemesis Lex Luthor.

PHOTOS: The roles that led Ben Affleck to Batman

“We know the material,” Snyder told Hero Complex in an interview earlier this year. “Unfortunately, the fans don’t know the material. So, we’re casting according to what’s happening in the script. And we’re hoping that leads to enough originality, enough perspective on what we’re doing that you get something fresh and exciting. I understand the canon. I’m not crazy.”

Which film are you more likely to see on May 6, 2016? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

— Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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