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Disney Sets 'Avengers 2' Release Date

Disney stakes a claim to a summer kickoff date for Marvel's “The Avengers” sequel.

ImageDisney is staking claim to a summer kickoff date for Marvel's The Avengers sequel, dating the feature for May 1, 2015.

According to a report by Variety, the summer slot mirrors Disney's release of the first Avengers, which began this year's summer season with a record-smashing $207 million. The feature has brought in a total of $617 million at the domestic box office, and grossed $1.46 billion worldwide.

Development plans for the sequel already are underway: Disney chief Bob Iger announced last week that Joss Whedon signed an exclusive deal through June 2015 to write and direct Avengers 2, as well as develop a live action Marvel-themed TV show for ABC.

The Avengers kickstarted Disney's first-ever distribution efforts of a Marvel property that was previously handled by Paramount.

Disney's next Marvel feature, Iron Man 3, is slated to open May 3, followed by Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will bow April 4, 2014, with another untitled Marvel property -- likely Guardians of the Galaxy – is dated for August 1, 2014.