By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer
“Captain America: Civil War” was one of the most anticipated blockbuster movies of 2016, and it has not disappointed. As of May 17, Civil War has grossed over $957 million worldwide, and looks to surpass “Zootopia” as the highest grossing film of 2016 thus far. The ensemble film has been positively received by critics and audiences alike.
On March 19, DC Comics released “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which saw Batman and Superman together for the first time in a live-action film. The film has grossed over $869 million worldwide, which sits below Civil War as the third highest grossing film of 2016. Despite posting record-breaking numbers in the box office, Batman v Superman received negative reviews from both critics and audiences. So, what went wrong with Batman v Superman?
Unlike the DC Extended Universe, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a lot more diversified. Over the course of eight years, Marvel has released 13 films, including an Iron Man trilogy and two Avengers movies. The first five movies released by Marvel were used as an introduction to various superhero characters, which ultimately lead up to the first Avengers movie.
The newly-established DC Extended Universe took a more accelerated-approach by introducing most of their characters in Batman v Superman. Many moviegoers and critics perceived the film as disorganized. Scott Mendleson of Forbes Magazine called it “an utter mess of thinly sketched characters, haphazard plotting, and surprisingly jumbled action.”
Moviegoers experienced a darker tone in Civil War than any other film produced in the MCU. However, Marvel was still able to incorporate humor into the film through the likes of Spider-Man and Ant-Man. This made the film more enjoyable not only adults, but also children, as the film is rated PG-13.
Batman v Superman also received a PG-13 rating, but DC does not integrate humor within the darker film. Jeff Simon of The Buffalo News said, “An awful lot of stuff happens that is no fun whatsoever in this humorless contribution to the mythology of DC Comics.”
Batman v Superman lacked a lot of elements that made Civil War a fan-favorite this summer. DC will look to revive the franchise this fall with Suicide Squad, a film about villains teaming up together for the greater good. The trailers released for the upcoming movie have been praised by fans for their amusement. It seems that DC has learned from its mistakes, and the film will receive a lighter tone.
Marvel will release the comic-book favorite, Doctor Strange, later this year. The film features a strong cast with Benedict Cumberbatch at the helm and Rachel McAdams supporting. This will be the 14th film in the MCU, as Marvel looks to continue its dominance over DC.