Marvel delays release of Thor, Captain America, Avengers

Marvel Studios pushed back the release date of Thor, Captain America and The Avengers in a schedule shuffle it said was designed to maximize the visibility of its single-character superhero films, leading to the highly anticipated release of the multi-character Avengers.

Iron Man 2 remains on track for release on May 7, 2010. Spider-Man 4 remains slated for release on May 6, 2011.

Thor moves to June 17, 2011, from its original July 16, 2010, release date.

The First Avenger: Captain America is pushed back to July 22, 2011, from May 6, 2011.

The Avengers gets a new release date of May 4, 2012, moved from July 15, 2011.

"This new schedule strongly sequences Marvel's movie debut dates, big-screen character introductions and momentum," David Maisel, chairman of Marvel Studios, said in a statement.

A Marvel character-based film will now launch the summer box-office season for three years in a row, from 2010 through 2012.

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