Marvel and DC have been enemies since before the Cold War, and it is only suitable that their Cinematic Universes would follow. This year was a definite battle between the two movies. Both Franchises had movies based on famous conflicts between superheroes as their headlining spring movie. For DC, this was Batman vs. Superman. For Marvel, this was Captain America: Civil War.
Many people were expecting the brawl out to be debated. Comic Fans were excited to see both arcs of the comics in film and wondered which one would come out supreme. Well, in comparing Box Office Revenue and Rotten Tomatoes scores, Civil War definitely took the cake. But why did this happen? Was it the source material? The acting? The production? Or was it something else entirely? Warning! Spoilers Ahead!
Let's Start With What's Bad In Batman vs. Superman
Batman vs. Superman definitely has it's problems. The villain, Lex Luthor, acted more like the Joker than Lex Luthor. It's story was repetitive, not really elaborating on the conflict, but establishing it anyway. The plot was also worsened by how long the movie was. It stretched out the story to points where it didn't need to be stretched out.
The movie was two and a half hours long, it got long enough where some of the people who saw it were asleep before Superman and Batman even got around to fighting. The movie didn't need to tell Batman's backstory again. Everyone and their mother knows how Batman came to be, correct? Then why spend 20 minutes on that backstory? The movie makers and script focused too much on the preparation and too little on the actual fight itself.
However, once you got to the fight itself, it was an awesome fight scene. The animation was good, the fighting was good, the acting was good, and so on. Doomsday looked amazing, just like I thought he would look like based on the comics. However, my only concern would have to be how dark the scenes were. The dark clothing of Superman, Batman, the mild color of Doomsday, the muted Wonder Woman Outfit, and the dark atmosphere made it impossible for anything to stand out from one another.
However, I think that BvS had a bunch more to do. The majority of the characters in this movie haven't been established in their new cinematic universe. This was supposed to be DC's Iron Man 2 in the grand scheme rather than its Avengers.
What About Civil War?
Just like BvS, this movie also is very long at almost two and a half hours. However, this movie fills it with actions that cause multiple stages of conflict, rather than one big fight at the end. Since Civil War already has plot elements set up, the movie doesn't need to focus on a lot of backstory except for the new characters who are being introduced like Spiderman, Black Panther, and our villain Zemo. The movie focuses on how the war happens, through multiple conflicts that eventually escalate into the separation of the Avengers.
The movie focused on the characters, the situation, how they would react to this individual situation and how they are recovering from the events of the past movies. It didn't establish Spiderman's backstory, the movie didn't need to because the movie makers knew everyone knew the story of what happened to Uncle Ben and the Radioactive Spider.
It had to establish Black Panther, because he is a lesser known character. But it established his story where it fit with the overarching plot. This is different from the out of place telling of Batman's story.
What Caused The Movies To Have Such Different Receptions?
These movies are similar, yet different. However, Batman vs. Superman had problems because it set too much on it's plate. It set Batman's backstory, the reveal of Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor militarizing with Kryptonite weapons, Superman and Batman fighting, and the death of Superman and Doomsday in one movie.
Those total events could fit four movies in total. DC actually needed to stretch out the story into different movies. It needed another Batman movie to introduce him to the Cinematic Universe and into Superman's world, and maybe hint at Wonder Woman and the militarization. Then it needed to set the fight in another movie, and possible the same with Superman's death.
The reason why Civil War was good is that if filled all of the strings with the other movies, connecting it into a cohesive separation of the Avengers. This movie essentially became the Empire Strikes Back for the MCU and it will keep going. However, I have no doubt that DC will be able to recover and continue a cohesive Cinematic Universe.