Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Overlord, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    It seems like in the last decade, Marvel has greatly surpassed DC in terms of success in the movie industry. There have been several Marvel franchises launched in the last decade, DC has made some great Batman movies, but that is it. Jonah Hex, Superman Returns, Green Lantern and Catwoman all failed to launch a successful film franchise in this past decade.

    Why is DC so far behind Marvel in terms of movies?
     
  2. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    Milky Way Galaxy
    Because DC is owned by Warner Brothers and has zero say in what movies of their properties get made. Warner Brothers is a movie studio, not a "make DC comics into movies" studio. To them, the comic book movies are a small part of their overall movie business, whereas Marvel Studios was created to do nothing more than make movies of Marvel comic books. It sucks, but that's just the way it is.
     
  3. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Marvel has a plan. WB/DC doesn't
     
  4. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    It's also pretty clear the WB executives (and the filmmakers they hire to handle the characters, except for Christopher Nolan) don't have a clue what made the DC superheroes successful in the first place and aren't particularly interested in learning. (In fact, their general contempt for comic books is palpable.) This hasn't stopped them from blatantly meddling not only in the film adaptations but in the comics themselves, trying to recast the whole pantheon in the image of Nolan's Batman and in turn rendering the DC superheroes all but unrecognizable. Disney, on the other hand, has been mostly hands off with its Marvel properties: "You know these guys, we don't. We trust you. Just make us the best movies possible."
     
  5. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    The above posts are pretty bang on, but I also think that DC have less top flight characters. Admittedly Superman and Batman are as big as it gets, but after that they are very much 2nd division.

    Wonder Woman may be an exception, but no-one has a clue what to do with her...
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I wrote a Wonder Woman script.

    Well half a page.

    But I meant to finish it.

    It started with President Luthor Hanging Jimmy Olsen with Diana's golden lariat on the white house lawn.
     
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    I don't think that's much of an excuse though. Part of Marvel's success has been taking second-tier heroes (by necessity, seeing as almost all of Marvel's headliners were already taken by various studios) and making them household names. Nerds knew Iron Man, but he sure wasn't particularly well known before his movie. Or Thor.

    Can you believe we'll be seeing an Ant-Man movie before too long? And D̶̶C̶ WB can't even get a Wonder Woman movie off the ground.

    Edit: No, you're right. I was thinking purely the 'Marvel Cinematic Universe', but the OP talks about all the other franchises too, so apologies for that. All that typing just to make myself look foolish. :)
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    It just seems weird to me that regular people wouldn't know who Iron Man or Thor were.

    I mean you try to explain Moon Knight and they just go blank, that's off on the fringe, but Iron Man has had several Saturday Morning Cartoons.

    The only reason any one knew who Spider-Man was before the Rami movie was becuae of the Electric Company. That fucker taught me how to read and write.
     
  9. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I wonder why WB can't give DC their own studio, sure that is expensive, but considering how much money Marvel studios has made for Disney, it might be a good investment.

    Disney payed 4 billion dollars for Marvel and that investment seems to have payed off. It just seems Disney/Marvel are more willing to take risks, while DC/WB are just playing catch up, that is why a lot of the Green Lantern film feels like a poor man's Iron Man and why WB is only making an JLA movie now, after Avengers made a billion dollars at the box office.
     
  10. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    1) Marvel's characters are just plain better. Cue a pointed dissent from Christopher in 3... 2... 1..., but it's true. ;)

    2) Gotham aside (it gets a pass on grimdarkness), fictional cities are passé. Places like Metropolis and Star City were probably a lot more interesting and felt more real to suburban and rural kids around the country before decades of on-location movies and TV shows made real cities, and New York in particular, far more relatable than Generic Superhero Town #4. Indeed, the non-relatability of anonymous cities was superbly exploited in the Matrix films.
     
  11. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    I grew up watching the first Spiderman cartoon from the late 1960's.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man_(1967_TV_series)
     
  12. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    ^ Guy was joking.


    The Overlord, The Overlord... WB is not making a JLA movie. ;)
     
  13. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    Well, I think regular people may have heard of them, but there isn't any reason for them to know anything about them. Unlike Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the X-Men, etc...Iron Man and Thor didn't really have much exposure outside of the comics.

    I grew up watching Batman, X-Men, and Spider-Man cartoons in the 90s. The Hulk and Wonder Woman TV shows were before my time, and those character haven't really gotten a ton of exposure since then.

    And maybe it's just me, but there is something inherently unrelatable about Superman and Wonder Woman. Any time I try, I just can't seem to care about them. In fact, the only DC character I've ever had any interest in is Batman.
     
  14. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I started feeling old when my friend's wife told me everything she new about the X-Men came from the 90s cartoon when she was a kid. I was in my 20s when that cartoon first aired and I have never seen a single episode.
     
  15. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    Whereas I have only ever read one single issue of any comic book ever. Something about Juggernaut and Jean Grey wandering around a sewer and Onslaught coming back (and me going, "who the heck is Onslaught?").
     
  16. Garak

    Garak Salty Dog Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    DC has always been behind Marvel in just about every facet imaginable. Always.

    That's just the way of things, so it's hardly surprising they are lacking in the feature film department.
     
  17. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    Killing off Captain America in the comics made national news. National news!!

    Killing off Batman/Bruce Wayne made some 3rd grade news in online news sites under the entertainment section.

    Need i say more? Apart from Superman and Batman it seems DC has nothing more concerning public interest.. i always hear so much about Wonder Woman and how she is the third character in the DC "Big Three" but to be honest.. the public knows next to nothing about her and most movie fans are too young to even remember the show with Lynda Carter from the 70s (are there even current reruns somewhere?).

    Public also means mainstream people who don't watch the animated shows and movies where she features prominently.

    However ask some random person and they will tell you about half a dozen Marvel characters even if they may not go that deep into it other than "that bald guy in the wheelchair" or Wolverine. Marvel has simply won the popularity race against DC.. if there ever was a race that is.

    Part of it is simply blind luck though in my opinion.. what would have happened if Singer made a DC team movie and started the superhero movie genre again? Marvel got lucky.. Blade was a modest hit though most people didn't know (or still don't know) that he's a Marvel character. X-Men ignited the whole genre again and only then did Marvel make the right (and bold) choice to go all in with Iron Man.

    They got lucky with Robert Downey Jr. because let's face it.. IM is a pretty generic story about someone having a change of heart and becoming a hero (and in this case some visual effects eye candy on top) but Downey really sold the role and made the movie a hit which started the whole snowball to avalanche system thus far culminating in The Avengers.

    DC is hopelessly lost.. everything they do will either be lauded as copying Marvel or just downright silly or uninteresting. They need that one spark.. either a breakout movie or someone who understands and loves the medium like Singer or Whedon to take the reigns and create something that people will want to see.
     
  18. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    DC isn't behind. It had several decades of success, now it's Marvel's turn.
     
  19. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Langley
    Yep. Pretty much.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Agent Richard07 has the right of it. These things are cyclical. A decade or two ago, it was DC that had all the hit movies, while Marvel fans were wondering why their guys couldn't get their act together and put out anything good. And even when we started to get good Marvel films like X-Men and Spider-Man, we still got duds like Daredevil too.

    So it's just the luck of the draw. It's just about who currently has a better strategy and better ideas and better execution, and that's a function of the specific filmmakers and executives involved, rather than being about the companies or the characters per se. Eventually WB will get its act together and we'll get more good DC movies -- and eventually Marvel Films will lose its way and its current success streak will end. Everything fluctuates over time.


    That's no longer true. DC Entertainment was established a few years ago and given responsibility for developing DC properties in multimedia. (In fact, DC Comics is now simply one subsidiary of DCE.) Geoff Johns, the chief creative officer of DCE, is in overall charge of creative decisions for all DC properties, including comics, film, TV, direct-to-video, computer games, etc. So it's all under centralized control, much the same as with Marvel. DC Entertainment has been the primary production company responsible for the DC movies since 2010; Warner Bros. just "Presents" them.


    Huh? Give me one example. Here are the non-Batman live-action DC superhero films that have come out since Batman Begins:

    Superman Returns
    Watchmen
    Jonah Hex
    Green Lantern


    Please explain to me how any one of those was in any way influenced by Nolan's Batman. Superman Returns was an overly fannish homage to the Richard Donner Superman films. Watchmen was a slavish adaptation of the comics. Jonah Hex was, reportedly, a supernatural-themed Western that resembled Will Smith's Wild Wild West more than anything else. And Green Lantern was a garish, larger-than-life space opera. There's no Nolan influence in any of those. And there didn't seem to be any in the David Kelley Wonder Woman TV pilot either.

    The only DC properties in live action to show any influence from the Nolan Batfilms are the upcoming Man of Steel produced by Nolan himself, which is getting very positive advance reviews, and Arrow on television, which is one of the biggest hits of the season.


    That's a matter of personal taste, of course, but I repeat what I said above: It wasn't that long ago that only DC films were succeeding and Marvel films were either nonexistent or dismal failures. So even if that were true, it couldn't be said to be a causative factor in the respective success of the film adaptations, because in that case one would consistently do better than the other across all time.


    Arrow is set in the fictional Starling City and it's a major hit.

    It's pretty bizarre to blame the success or failure of a work of fiction on its setting. It's the characters, the plot, the ideas, and the execution that make a film succeed or fail. A well-told story about intriguing, well-acted characters in Simulopolis, Shamsylvania is naturally going to be more successful than an incoherent, miscast, shoddily directed piece of hackery set in New York or San Francisco.