The Marvel Cinematic universe is one of the most successful film franchises of all time, and after the release of Avengers: Infinity War in 2018, it had raked in over $17 billion at the box office worldwide. Needless to say, the moneymaking potential of creating a movie world featuring characters that can cross over with one another has not gone unnoticed, and others are now trying to replicate Marvel’s model. DC has been the long-term rival to Marvel in the comic book world, but the DC Extended Universe is way behind in film. Will it ever be able to catch up?
Marvel has slowly built up its cinematic universe over a number of years. It started with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man in 2008, and gradually introduced other characters including the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Thor. It began small and included a few key players, and then spread out from there over time. By the release of Joss Whedon’s Avengers in 2012, viewers had been introduced to a handful of protagonists and knew them fairly well. This was known as Phase One, and it cleverly laid down the foundations for the massive world that Marvel went on to create in the next two phases as it brought in a much wider range of new characters.
Warner Bros. were late to the party with the DCEU, and everything they seem to have done to date seems rushed when comparing it to the MCU. The DCEU began with Man of Steel in 2013, which introduced Superman. Despite being criticized for its lack of character development, it seemed that this was a good place to start. From there, it would have made sense to give Batman a standalone movie, followed by Wonder Woman. Instead, Warner Bros. opted to include all three characters in its next installment, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. The same year audiences were overwhelmed with the introduction of another group of characters in Suicide Squad. The DCEU failed to follow the slow and steady development of the MCU, and thus far a lot of its offerings have been slated by critics.
DC still has the potential to outdo Marvel in the future, purely on the fact that it has more popular and marketable characters in its armory. Certainly in the game world, DC reigns supreme with its numerous Batman offerings on various platforms. For instance, at Buzz Bingo players can play Batman & The Riddler Riches, Batman & The Joker Jewels, or Batman & The Penguin Prize. For console players, the Batman Arkham series is considered to be one of the best comic book game franchises of all time.
Despite rarely being lauded by critics, the DC movies have done well at the box office. After six movies, the DCEU had generated $4.7 billion worldwide. With more iconic characters at its disposal, the DCEU does have the potential to match and maybe even outdo the success of the MCU over time. It would be nice to see the writers put more effort and care into their character development, however.