Since the release of Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Studios has been on a tear through the box office and the heart and minds of general audiences. The comic book movie studio could just about sell anything including an obscure space opera called [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073). The cosmic superhero movie is nipping at the heels to become one of the highest grossing domestic release, with only Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (another Marvel movie) ahead of it. And since 2008, Marvel chief rival DC has also been trying to catch up.
Let's do the math. Since 2008, Marvel Studio has released 10 movies with Guardians of the Galaxy being the latest. DC, on the other hand, has only released six - mind you that The Dark Knight Rises is one of the highest grossing movies of all-time. With Marvel having a hefty head start against DC, Can Warner Bros catch up to where Marvel currently is with just one movie - [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870)?
Well, by the time Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters in March 2016, Marvel would have released two more movies, bringing their total to 12, with The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man waiting in the wings. Who knows how audiences will receive Ant-Man, but let's assume that the public is generally positive on the start of Phase Three considering Marvel Studios' track record. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has to, not only be a homerun, but also a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a full count in Game 7 of the World Series. The superhero movie from DC has to knock out The Avengers as the third highest grossing movie of all-time, be a darling with critics, and set up three or four future franchises with [Wonder Woman](movie:45787), Aquaman, and the rumored The Flash. It seems like expectations might be unrealistic, but when you consider the current popularity and hunger for superhero pop culture, these expectations now seems oddly reasonable.
Take a look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This movie was lukewarm at best and audiences still flocked to watch it in theaters. At the moment, [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) grossed $708.2 million worldwide and this movie wasn't very good at all. If this is the low bar for superhero mediocrity, than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is assured at least $700 million worldwide with a $100 million opening domestic box office. It doesn't even have to be good to make this kind of money. If Zack Snyder pulls of the aforementioned superhero grand slam, in terms of quality, with Batman and Superman, then there's something to get excited about. The Marvel/DC rivalry will no longer be one-sided, but rather a true rivalry with each studio exchanging box office blow after box office blow.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is almost critics and box office proof, which is why (for the first time) DC and Warner Bros is confident enough to announce release dates for future untitled DC movie projects. It's just unclear how DC will improve on Marvel's pace with the next movie in the overall DC Cinematic Universe, if that's what we're calling it now. So, to answer the above thesis: could DC and Warner Bros. catch up to Marvel with just one movie - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?
The answer is yes, but the remaining question would be: could DC and Warner Bros capitalize on their would-be future success with new franchises, such as Wonder Woman, [Justice League](movie:401267), and Shazam? If I'm wrong and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a critical failure and a box office disappointment (IE it made money, but it didn't make that much money), then the future is a dark one for DC, Warner Bros., and all their plans to catch up to Marvel Studios.
What do you think? Could DC and Warner Bros. Catch Up to Marvel with Just One Movie?