Alright, I've been trying for some time to hold back how much I disagree that Marvel is somehow king of comic book movies. I couldn't care less about ardent Marvel fans who will disagree while staring at a screen from their parent's basement. I am a lawyer by trade, and I will do my best to present a factual and objective case that definitively shows not only why DC is greater than Marvel, but also why it does not need to make responsive executive decisions to compete with Marvel.
Let's start by explaining the factors I've taken into account here. These factors range from platform to continuity to quality. I’m not out to bash Marvel because I am a fan, but I am quite tired of people who take offense when a great character like Batman is somehow seen to be inferior to his Marvel counterpart. So, let’s begin, shall we?
1. Executive control and its effect on admittance
To begin with, Marvel is controlled by Marvel Studios/Disney/Sony respectively with regards to certain characters, i.e. X-Men – Sony/Phase I – Disney/Marvel. Now, I may be slightly off with who exactly controls what, but here’s why I bring this point up. Disney makes kid-friendly movies. Period. They make movies that are intended to attract all ages. Kids, children, minors... whatever you want to call them. These are potential audience members that force parents to take them to a movie and fill seats.
Now, how does DC fit into this equation? Well, simple really. Warner Bros. and Nolan really cut a huge slice of their potential profit margins when creating films that were dark in tone. Films like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, (Joker, remember)? And the Dark Knight Rises. You may recall scenes with Batman’s back being broken. The entire police station coming under assault. A commissioner dying by poison. A city in Havoc.
Same rule applies to WB’s most recent mega comic book film, Man of Steel. Complaints are still coming about the fact that Superman actually has to kill someone. All the destruction that was visible throughout the movie.
Now you might say well, the Avengers had a lot of destruction. But for some reason or other, Avengers were not criticized as much as MOS was. Moreover, the fight scenes in the Avengers was not as dark in tone to either the Nolan trilogy or MOS.
Here’s what I’m suggesting: the higher grossing amounts by Marvel means absolutely nothing, yes I said it, nothing, when you realize that an entire generation of moviegoers who were denied access unless a) their parents allowed them to go and accompanied them or b) their parents forbid them from going and they had no consenting adult to get them in.
A Cinematic Universe
Let’s go through the positive numbers. In no particular order, Marvel has the Iron Man trilogy, which I enjoyed, except for part 3, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, (Andrew), Spider Man, (Tobey), The Hulk, (both Bana and Norton), Ghost Rider, Punisher, X-Men trilogy, First Class, DOFP, I can go on but here’s why listing these specific movies matters.
In terms of box office numbers, Marvel got the Hulk wrong, Ghost Rider, Punisher and Fantastic 4. These were horrendous movies in terms of building something that could carry itself. I’m sure an argument could be made for Norton’s Hulk and the 2nd Punisher film but in all reality, neither film produced a fan base that stayed loyal to the franchise.
Now, with DC’s positive effect, we have Reeve’s Superman, (1&2 Great; 3&4 Bad), Superman Returns, Supergirl, Burton’s 2 Batman films, the Nolan Trilogy, Green Lantern, V for Vendetta, 300 (1 & 2), Red (1&2), Push, Watchmen, Steel, Swamp Thing.
With most of the major films each studio is known for, and according to visual.ly website, DC comics totaled an estimated $208 Million rounded to the nearest million and Marvel totaled $202 Million. Yup, DC kicked Marvel’s ASS. Here’s why, Marvel up till the Amazing Spider-Man flick. So that would not include the new 300 film or just for the hell of it, The Harry Potter series.
These are factual figures my friends. DC has grossed more per movie than has Marvel. One final note, although the Avengers has grossed more on its own than any DC film, please consider this, aside from the fact that it was kid friendly as previously noted, it took 5 different franchises to knock down The Dark Knight Rises. 5 Franchises, FIVE, F-I-V-E, 5 to take down Batman. Again, 5 to take down the Dark Knight. Now, here’s what else I’d like you to take from this, WB is not DC. Let me say it again!! WB, Warner Brothers, is NOT DC, Detective Comics. Why is this important, you ask! Because the business decisions made by WB does not change the fact that Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, [The Flash](movie:15273) The Flash, Cyborg, [Arrow](series:720988), Manhunter, or collectively, the [Justice League](movie:401267), is far greater than any team Marvel has come up with to date.
Sure, the Avengers maxed out the box office but, (please see above), if a Justice League movie comes out, it will not likely be a kid-friendly movie.
I'll start off with animated flicks, television series, graphic novels, and let's not forget video games in the next post...Please leave comments below. Till we meet again....