As we all know, Marvel is completely dominating the big screen. Such is their success, they’ve managed to take a film of relatively unknown heroes (Guardians) to the mass media, and turn it into a complete cash cow. It seems that DC can only look on longingly at that level of box office earnings. However, I strongly believe DC can and will catch up to Marvel and, dare I say it, surpass them. Here is how:
Marvels cinematic universe is fractured. Fox holds the licensing rights to Fantastic Four, Xmen universe, and Deadpool. Sony holds the rights to Spiderman and Disney holds the rights to the rest (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc). The fracturing of universes leads to things like Spiderman not being in the avengers and oddities like two Quicksilvers on the big screen. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. holds the licensing to the entirety of DC’s universe. Meaning all characters and super heroes, teams, and villains will have the possibility to crossover/team up any which way they please. Not only that, there will only be one incarnation of a super hero or villain on the big screen (unless they go down the Crisis route but that’s a LONG way off).
2. Target Audience
Thor has just lost his mother and, to his knowledge, his brother (Thor: The Dark World) yet he’s walking around flirting and joking around with Natalie Portman. Nick Fury gets shot multiple times, yet doesn’t die. Although there is action sequences, overall the tone of Marvel movies are light and humor filled. Nobody really ever gets hurt and the good guy wins. With most of Marvel being owned by Disney, it’s not surprising to see their movies being mostly kid oriented. While many see this as a virtue, and am not saying it isn’t, DC’s darker tone definitely, sets it apart and can appeal not only to superhero fans. In DC’s world the hero doesn’t always get the girl (she’s blown into smithereens by the Joker), Bane breaks Batman’s back, Superman snaps General Zods neck. Sh*t happens in DC.
3. The Avengers Effect
Captain America: The First Avenger grossed, according to IMDB, roughly $370 million. Fast forward to 2014, after Marvels The Avengers exposed superheroes to a bigger than ever audience, and Captain America: The Winter soldier grossed $714 million. That is the Avengers effect. The Avengers increased the box office sales of even stand alone films. Now, Man of Steel (DC’s first film in its upcoming cinematic universe) grossed approximately $700 million dollars. If DC’s Justice League is anywhere near as successful as Marvels Avengers, then those already impressive figures have the possibility of increasing even more. In basic terms: DC’S phase one is earning just slightly under Marvels phase two.
DC can, with hard work, catch up and even surpass Marvels incredible box office earnings.