The pattern so far has been simple: Marvel dominates movies, while DC sees success on television. However, this battle is coming to its head over the next five years. Zimbio released a graphic detailing the lineup of both companies’ upcoming films through 2020 and, with an appropriately timed Marvel vs DC fanmade trailer (which you can watch below), superheroes continue to dominate Hollywood.
Now let’s break down this calendar and predict which universe will come out on top.
Marvel: Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st), Ant-Man (July 17th)
It’s going to be Marvel’s year by default. Even if DC did have a film coming out, the second Avengers film would still be the most successful superhero film of the year (the bigger question is how it will fare against Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Marvel: Captain America: Civil War (May 6th), Doctor Strange (November 4th)
DC: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25th), Suicide Squad (August 5th)
Despite the exciting presence of Wonder Woman and Marvel fans’ concerns about Civil War, Captain America will win the first half of the year. Doctor Strange and Suicide Squad are relatively unknown but Marvel proved they can turn unknowns into successes with Guardians. However, the Joker is always a popular character and fans will be excited about Harley Quinn.
Marvel: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5th), Thor: Ragnarok (July 28th), Black Panther (November 3rd)
DC: Wonder Woman (June 23rd), Justice League (November 17th)
Marvel has numbers on their side and we predict that Guardians’ popularity will continue. Thor and Wonder Woman have a month between them but the lackluster response to the second Thor may hurt here. We hope Black Panther is a huge success, but everyone loves superhero alliances in one film so Justice League will likely do better.
Marvel: Avengers: Infinity War Part I, Captain Marvel (July 6th), Inhumans (November 2nd)
DC: The Flash (March 23rd), Aquaman (July 27th)
This is where we will start to see if interest in superheroes is waning. Splitting up their next Avengers movie is risky on Marvel’s part, and Captain Marvel and Inhumans are far more unknown than both The Flash and Aquaman. This will all come down to previous successes. Will we be familiar with Carol Danvers and the Inhumans by this point? Was Justice League successful, especially regarding these two characters for DC?
Marvel: Avengers: Infinity War Part II (May 3rd)
DC: Shazam! (April 5th), Justice Leage II (June 14th)
Did Infinity War Part I do well? Did Justice League do well? That will determine these two team-based films this year. Shazam! probably won’t be as impacting and if people are starting to grow weary of superheroes, it definitely won’t be a hit.
DC: Cyborg (April 3rd), Green Lantern (June 19th)
Marvel may announce movies for 2020 but for now DC remains unchallenged. But if people remember how terrible the first Green Lantern film was, it may steer them away from this one. Again, it depends on how Justice League and the character’s presence were received. As for Cyborg, we might be familiar with him on the upcoming DC show Titans which continues DC’s pattern of keeping movies and television totally separate (see: The Flash).
Unless superheroes lose their popularity, Marvel will continue to dominate Hollywood. They have better release dates and a solid track record. People are more familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC’s history with films has been all over the board (Man of Steel may have made a lot of money, but it certainly wasn’t a universal critical success). DC isn’t interested in integrating television and movies, while Marvel has committed themselves to establishing one world that fans are excited about exploring.
It’s exciting to see how everything plays out. Whose side are you on? Which movies are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments! (For the record, it’s totally cool and acceptable to be equally excited for both sides!)
Now if only we can get this to happen: