If you’ve been following along at home, you might have noticed that both comic book heavyweights, DC and Marvel, had movies coming out on the same day – May 6, 2016. In what was going to be a definitive box office showdown between DC’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Marvel’s Captain America 3, Warner Bros Studio flinched first in this game of chicken and moved their release date up by six weeks to March 25, 2016 instead.
Since literally every franchise is trailing behind the unparalleled success of Marvel’s multiple franchises, it’s almost impossible to deny that the only real comic book competition in the industry is likely trying to avoid a head to head match up against the powerhouse. Considering that there are only three DC movies that have performed better at the box office than the most recent Cap installment – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) which has grossed $259 million to date compared to The Dark Knight (2008) at $533 million, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) at $448m, and Man of Steel (2013) at $291m, the situation already doesn’t bode well for DC. Never mind the fact that Cap 2 ranks in at number nine on Marvel’s top grossing list (behind The Avengers, the entire Iron Man franchise, the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise, and the first installment of the Andrew Garfield Amazing Spider-Man franchise).
If anyone can give the Marvel Universe a run for its money, it’s the Justice League, which is exactly what Batman vs Superman aims at being. Unfortunately, there are some heavy concerns surrounding the casting of key characters – most notably Batman. A rotating figure over the decades, fans can’t seem to agree on who was the best, or that there has even been one as good as what Robert Downey Jr. has done for Marvel with Tony Stark. Perhaps the newly cast actor, Ben Affleck, will have what it takes to pull off the complex role of the troubled hero and really capture and embody the true essence of Bruce Wayne once and for all, but he will have to do so with heavy criticism and without much support from the Batman fan-base. Henry Cavill has already proven himself as a competent player in the role of Superman and seems to be the only anchor in the known line-up with Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious) playing Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) as Lex Luthor, and Jason Momoa (Khal freaking Drogo) rumored but not confirmed to be playing Aquaman. To be fair, there is a ton of potential for DC to really kick it up a notch with a Justice League franchise and, while they may be riding on the coattails of Marvel’s success, they have the distinct advantage of being second and learning from Marvel’s mistakes (it pains me to remind anyone of Daredevil or Eric Bana’s Hulk, but who isn’t happy we found a home for Mark Ruffalo and now wait with bated breath for some kind of actual progressing story line for Ruffalo to totally smash up a solo Hulk movie?). Hopefully DC can give some justice to the die-hard Justice League fans, DC fans, and general fans of this wicked cool wave of comic books turned movies. Ultimately, with Marvel already planning 20 more movies releases through 2019 and DC with 10 scheduled release dates through 2020, no matter which franchise wins the money race, the fans win in the end with so many phenomenal movies making it to the big screen.
What upcoming comic-book hero movie are you looking forward to the most? Do you think DC has what it takes to quiet Marvel’s success?