In my last article HERE, we looked at how DC has been losing the movie battle with Marvel. In this article we will look at where the franchises are now. The differences might surprise you.
When we compare Marvel and DC it is not really an equitable comparison if left open ended. DC has been having massive hits since 1978. DC’s formula was generally make 2 good movies then do two more that are total trash. That was before X-Men in 2000 changed the way comic book movies were made as well as their respectability.
Marvel then changed the formula once more by introducing the idea of individual movies with an over arching theme leading to a massive team-up. To try and compare the Superman and Batman movies of past decades to today’s films just doesn’t work. For this comparison I am strictly sticking to the EU era of the past 10 years. It has been said Marvel has been kicking DC’s ass with its movies, but how true is that and what does it look like.
Now I in no way am arguing that DC has handled their slate of titles correctly. They have not, but they aren’t losing by as much as one would think. There are two ways to look at this comparison. There is the “factual” and the “anecdotal”. Let’s start with the latter.
Word of mouth is largely against DC and their attempted EU movies. When a ship is not running well and continuously breaking down, every flaw no matter how big or small becomes highlighted. A small thing that every movie has issues with will be amplified into disastrous proportions. We hear and cringe about all of the director problems going on with DC, but when Marvel releases movies like Thor 2 it gets swept under the rug and Marvel is still batting x1000. At this point DC has made enough errors and Marvel has hit enough home runs that DC’s failings will always be highlighted while Marvel will largely get passes on its lesser movies.
Now let’s look at some actual box office numbers. These might actually surprise you. In the EU era DC has released 5 films with Aquaman being the sixth. According to Boxofficemojo.com, here are the domestic totals for DC:
Man of Steel $291 million
Dawn of Justice $330 million
Suicide Squad $325 million
Wonder Woman $412.5 million
Justice League $229 million
TOTAL: $1.587 Billion/$317 million avg
Now here are the first six Marvel movies as they were getting their show off the ground:
Ironman $318 million
Incredible Hulk $134.8 million
Ironman 2 $312.4 million
Thor $181 million
Captain America $176.6 million
Avengers $623 million
Total: $1.745 Million/$290 million avg
As you can see more people have gone to the DC films than the Marvel films. Marvell has an extra film under their belt and is only leading by $158 million. The average per film also favors DC. Does that equal better movies? Of course not, but how can you argue failure when your box office totals are beating the other guy’s totals? The average for Phase 2 only comes in at $308 million/movie and there were some huge titles in there.
So, number wise, DC is doing just fine. Can you imagine what a blow out it would be had they actually hit the mark with these movies. I show these numbers simply to show that although anecdotally DC is light years behind Marvel in the movie world, monetarily they are going toe-to-toe.