The Kevin Fiege led Marvel Cinematic Universe backed by Disney is now the benchmark for building out a successful franchise. It is now the franchise which has earned the most money overtaking Star Wars after Avengers: Endgame. Looking on the other side of the coin, we have a case study on what exact steps to take to kill a franchise.
The DCEU is now at a stage where no one is remotely excited about what projects are being made and the solo Batman movie separate from the DCEU is on track to be beaten by a Doctor Strange movie. Can you imagine that being the case 10 years ago after Christopher Nolan released his final Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises? So what led to DCEU’s epic failure, let’s find out.
Believe it or not, there was a time the MCU could not even be compared to what DC films were doing. Marvel launched its first entry into the MCU in 2008 with Iron Man. The Jon Favreau directed film grossed around 585 million. Then Christopher Nolan came back with The Dark Knight grossing a gargantuan one billion. After Nolan’s trilogy DC wanted to create a universe of their own. ‘300’ director Zack Snyder was tasked to develop the DCEU.
He made Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice while producing and writing Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad. And those movies were successful. Man of Steel made 667 million, Batman Vs Superman made 872 million, Wonder Woman made 818 million and Suicide Squad made 745 million. Marvel’s first four movies made significantly less than this but they built up to an Avengers movie which broke the records by bringing in 1.5 Billion. MCU did not look back after that and DC is left thinking about how they fumbled it.
TONE IS IMPORTANT
I cannot stress enough how much the tones and themes of a movie franchise matter. Marvel’s success was built upon lighter action comedies while DC’s success was built upon a darker deeper grittier tone in which the heroes explore what it takes to be a hero. While there is no right tone to go with, any movie franchise needs to maintain a certain tone that the audience can easily identify with.
As soon as DC got rid of its darker tones, the whole franchise fell apart. Shazam and Wonder Woman 1984 is DC trying its hardest to copy the Marvel formula and fail spectacularly. The Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey are movies made for teens but with an R Rating. Copying Deadpool isn’t a piece of cake. DC’s continued insistence on copying Marvel’s tone has resulted in them making movies in which no one is interested.
If I want to see a Marvel movie I will see a Marvel movie, not a DC movie pretending to be a Marvel movie.
DCEU Had No Faith In Their Own
The lack of conviction in their own creatives and bringing in Marvel directors to fail so spectacularly will be the defining reason for which the DCEU has failed. We have come to a point where even a critic backed Batman movie cannot compete with the well-oiled machine that is the MCU.
As a DC fan, this has been hilarious to see how guys with no information about the movie-making business can see what is wrong with them but they themselves cannot figure it out with their million dollars a year salaries.