The rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics has been going on for well over 50 years. The two entities have competed with each other not only for the sales of books, but also in video games, animation, and toy markets. The most dynamic and popular of all areas of competition is the motion picture industry. Marvel and DC have a slate of movies coming out in 2016. Which studio will end up being more successful will play out as the year unfolds.
Marvel already has massive hit thanks to the Marvel/Fox release of Deadpool. Deadpool was a moderately-budgeted film. The $58 million dollar budget was cut due to concerns over the film’s box office success potential. Within a month of release, Deadpool shocked the world by earning $500 million worldwide. Deadpool shows comic book movies aren’t even close to dying down in popularity. Marvel also shows that its “B” characters have a lot of box office appeal. D.C. doesn’t really have that claim, yet.
What DC does have is two of the most iconic superheroes of all-time: Batman and Superman. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to be a massive hit. No one expects this film to be anything less than a blockbuster.
Batman v. Superman should top Deadpool’s box office success. Better still, Wonder Woman and other heroes make their debut in this film. The upcoming Justice League film is set up with this film, a film intended to launch the shared DC Universe.
Marvel’s next big blockbuster is coming on the heels of Batman v. Superman. Captain America: Civil War features Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and the return of Spider-Man to the big screen. The return of Spider-Man may be the biggest selling point of this particular film.
Will Civil War top Batman v. Superman at the box office? Likely, they’ll do similar box office but the unique nature of the DC entry probably will draw in more curious audience members. Civil War may draw more kids, and kids do contribute greatly to motion picture success.
The X-Men return with the Marvel/Fox film X-Men: Apocalypse. The film ends the trilogy started with X-Men: First Class. The X-Men films do extraordinarily well so no one is taking a risk with the third film in the series. Don’t look for this one to match the previously mentioned films at the box office. The X-Men films are as big as Batman, The Avengers, and, bizarre as it sounds, Deadpool. Then again, superhero mania could lead this new mutant outing to be a mega-smash.
The riskiest of all movies to be released this year is August’s Suicide Squad. D.C. Comics Entertainment has chosen to produce an all-villain film to help set up all the bad guys for future films. The Joker returns in Suicide Squad and, as the press revealed, so does Batman. The Caped Crusader gets a cameo and this should help the box office.
Which studio is going to have the better year? The huge hit of Deadpool and the questions marks surrounding Suicide Squads leads Marvel to get the slight edge. Overall, both studios are poised to have a tremendous year.