It doesn’t take much to work out that the Marvel movies are far more successful than their DC counterparts, but it’s not for lack of trying on DCs part. They are both successful superhero franchises, but for some reason, Marvel has movies that gross higher and are more popular in general with the public, so what’s the difference? Of course, when it comes to film, everyone has their own opinion, but when a majority of people don’t respond to what you’re putting in front of them, you have to ask yourself why. So, why are the Marvel movies more popular than the DCs?
Marvel has more humor
Humor isn’t the key to success, by any means, but it helps. The Dark Knight Batman trilogy proves that you can have a successful set of superhero movies with very little lightheartedness and humor, but it does it carefully and incredibly well. However, if you have a character who wears their pants on the outside, then it’s tough to get audiences to take them seriously if they take themselves too seriously. DC has always been the darker superhero counterpart, but if a movie takes on the basic superhero tropes with the same humorless personalities, then they become unrelatable, predictable, and boring. When Fox brought out the immensely successful ‘Deadpool’ movie, which is primarily based on humor and wit, DC reportedly overhauled the Batman vs. Superman script to add in humor and quirks that seem out of place and a bit strange, according to fan reviews.
Marvel is more child-friendly
While even the DC movies share a PG13 rating, there is a marked difference between them. Marvel has uniquely targeted almost every superhero fan and catered to them in some way, making it fun enough that children can sit and be entertained, but not too juvenile that it ruins the believability for adult fans. DC has a generally dark palette when it comes to story-lines, characters, and even tones. This will struggle to engage a younger audience as it requires a stricter attention span to keep up with the stories.
Comic book writer Mark Millar added his views on the situation, and it seems plausible. Millar says he prefers the DC characters as they are in the comics, but doesn’t believe they’re particularly cinematic. His reasoning behind this had something to do with their characters; the DC characters tend to focus on their powers and abilities rather than their personalities. This makes it difficult for audiences to relate to, as many people want something to either relate or aspire to; and since aspiring to be Superman is impossible, that’s kind of that. It’s worth mentioning that Batman has been noted as an exception to this DC trope.
The DC rush-jobs
It’s fair to say that Marvel has taken the slow road and played the long game to success. However, following the success of the Avengers movies, DC jumped on the multi-hero movie bandwagon. Sadly, they hadn’t followed in Marvel’s footsteps and built a relationship between hero and viewer, making the Justice League movie far less appealing than the hype for the Avengers. For many, it seemed like DC were trying to make a quick buck rather than taking care of their heroes and their stories.
So, Marvel is more popular for a variety of reasons, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s because they take care with their movies, giving it the attention and time it needs to be a hit with the fans as well as a commercial success.