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Marvel Entertainment Inc. said Thursday that it would push back part of its slate of movies to build greater anticipation for “The Avengers,” which features combines several different Marvel Comics heroes in one adventure.


Marvel now plans to release “Thor” on June 17, 2011, almost a year later than originally planned. “The First Avenger: Captain America” will be pushed back two months, to July 22, 2011, while “The Avengers” will now debut May 4, 2012 instead of July 15, 2011.


“Iron Man 2,” the sequel to the Robert Downey Jr. box office hit of 2008, will be released May 7, 2010, as previously scheduled.


Marvel also said “Spider-Man 4,” the latest sequel in a franchise that has generated almost $2.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts, will hit theaters May 6, 2011.


“This new schedule strongly sequences Marvel’s movie debut dates, big screen character introductions and momentum,” said David Maisel, chairman of Marvel Studios. “It maximizes the visibility of our single character-focused films, leading to the highly anticipated release of the multi-character ‘The Avengers’ film in 2012.”


In Marvel’s film version of “The Avengers,” first seen in comic book form in 1963, the featured heroes are Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Thor.

Tagged as: marvel | the avengers
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