A long fought debate since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A comparison behind the cohesion between franchises, writing, and overall story arc between DC and Cinematic Marvel and where DC is heading next in order to keep up with and eventually catch Marvel. Could take many approaches for this.
A worthwhile topic. There are any number of possible reasons and explanations for why DC has been unable to live up to Marvel's success. This has come to a shock to a lot of people, considering that DC, overall, owns the more popular properties. I don't think anybody was expending Civil War to crush B v S in opening weekend box office the way it did; Batman and Superman are the two most famous superheroes of all time, and the lost out to an equally unnecessary grudge match between Iron Man and Captain America (who, it can be easy to forget, nobody outside of the highly esoteric world of comic book fandom had ever given a second thought prior to 2008). Personally, I think the biggest reason for DC's failure -- aside from the obvious point about Zack Snyder -- is a matter of anxiety of influence. It's actually not the case that this is a "long fought debate since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," given that the DCEU only launched in 2013 with Man of Steel (i.e. five years after Iron Man 1) and only really became an extended universe this year with the release of B v S. Having come late to the party, DC is frantically trying to play catch-up, which has added the extra burden of trying to not seem as though they're overtly imitating their more successful rivals. The dark aesthetics that seem to have characterized their first three movies seems to be in direct opposition to the fun Whedonism that has contributed to the MCU's charm. This clearly deliberate differentiation effort has only worked against them, since it's operating off of the self-sabotaging premise of, "let's do the opposite of what seems to be working for Marvel." And the ironic thing is, the reason why the DCEU is so belated is because, while Marvel was getting things rolling with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, Christopher Nolan was busy releasing what is objectively the greatest superhero movie ever made. If DC had used Nolan's trilogy as the jumping-off point for their universe, they might have had a much better chance for success -- as they would have gotten started even before Marvel (Batman Begins being from 2005), with a much stronger foundation. However, because of the realism factor (which was a large part of what made The Dark Knight so good), the world that Nolan created proved to be not very conducive to the inclusion of other (more "super") heroes, requiring a fresh start. – ProtoCanon5 years ago
Would be helpful to define success here - is this cinematic quality of success? Financial? Quantity of movies? Appeal to the masses? Are there some areas that DC movies are more successful than Marvel? – Kevin5 years ago
I think part of Marvel's success has come from making a large cinematic universe that connects over many movies and two TV shows (Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter). DC has TV shows that are not at all connected to the movies, which is why we are seeing two Flashes, instead of seeing the same actor play the same character in both TV and Film, like Agent Coulson. Also, Marvel built their world from the ground up, starting with iconic and traditionally important Marvel characters and working from there. DC started out by focusing on their most important characters, but then crashed (in my opinion) by making Suicide Squad. If you're a comics fan, you know that this completely ruins the normal timeline. We also skip over Harley Quinn's and all the other characters' origin stories. They tried to do too much too early. They should've known from Marvel's success that great movies are built on great and relatable characters. This is a really interesting topic, and one you can go in-depth on if you want. Great idea. – JamieRich5 years ago