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The world of superhero movies is on the verge of a precipice. With the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC has officially entered the world of serial film universes. Although Man of Steel preceded Dawn of Justice, the newer film served as the start point of the official DC Extended Universe. This is DC’s answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been building for nearly a decade. The competition is now officially on between the two comic book universes, and it appears that DC just got a win over its rival.
Forbes is reporting that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice just passed Marvel’s Iron Man, as well as Iron Man 2 in regards to box office performance in the first month. Numbers wise, Dawn of Justice is projected to gross a total of $319 million, which will be surpassing Iron Man’s $318 million and Iron Man 2’s $312 million.
So what does this mean for the respective universes?
For one thing, it means that the DCEU isn’t quite as disastrous as people originally had thought. Batman v Superman received fairly negative reviews due to its length, tone, and scope. After the first weekend of its release, box office numbers saw a significant drop, likely due to said reviews. This made people think that perhaps the slew upcoming DC films might not be happening after all, and that perhaps the DCEU was doomed.
However, these numbers seem to indicate that the DCEU is right on track with the MCU. After all, Iron Man was also the launching point for the entire universe, so having the two movies be so close in gross makes it clear that DC is doing just fine comparatively. Iron Man may have fared better with critics, but it now appears that Batman v Superman has its competitor beat in regards to box office results in the first month.
Of course, there is something to say with Marvel’s model of releasing phases of films. Batman v Superman was the subject of criticism for trying to fit too much into one movie. Conversely, Marvel has taken careful time to carve out each and every character through standalone movies, as well as team up films like The Avengers. This is what will surely make the upcoming Captain America: Civil War so successful; we care about the characters who are fighting. It’s not just mere spectacle and hype like Batman v Superman could be considered to be.
Only time will tell how well the DCEU fares against its competitor moving forward. While Justice League Part One will presumably do well, standalone movies like Aquaman and The Flash will be the true test in competition with its Marvel counterpart.