Recently a concerned 7th grader wrote DC Comics, the student had a few comments about what he liked at DC, TV, movies and comics. He also asked what DC was going to do in a world that is going digital to compete and what DC cinema is going to “do to compete against Marvel movies when Marvel seemingly dominates the live action superhero movie industry.” Well the folks at DC Comic sent a return letter thanking him for his kind words then they said “DC has been the leader in digital for some time now” then the gave instructions on where to go to download you favorite comics. While that may be true what they said next surprised me.
“How do we plan to compete you ask: well Marvel may have many movies that come out in one year, and the reason for that is they have many different distributors which makes it possible for them to do so. DC Comics has one distributor who is Warner Bros., and well we don’t like to hoot our own horn (we actually do) our movies by far exceeds all of Marvels in sales.”
Well that claim seemed wrong noting Marvel success in the past years. Checking Box Office Mojo revealed that Marvel since the release of Howard the Duck in 1986 has grossed $5,776,895,083. And DC based movies since the 1978 release of Superman The Movie have grossed $3,311,573,872. That puts Marvel at a clear cash advantage. Adjusting for ticket inflation does not help DC in it’s claim. But if I go to all the Warner Bros. movies on Box Office Mojo that have $34,594,802,329 which does far exceed Marvel in cash. While the young 7th grader was clearly referring to “the live action superhero movie industry” the responders to his letter embellished the cash total I think.
What does this tell us about the DC Comics and Warner Bros. superhero movie makers? First of all it was nice for the people at DC Comics to respond to the letter written by the 7th grader and sometimes those who respond will exaggerate the truth. Also it shows that many at DC Comics don’t understand that they are loosing in the Cinema war of superhero movies. Marvel has clearly out done Warner Bros. in quality superhero movies that people want to see. They have captured the imagination of the those who buy tickets for comic book based movies. While the Nolan Batman trilogy and the recent Man of Steel movie are notable improvements in those kind of movies they still have a long way to go. I think many at Warner Bros. realized the cash cow that is to have in putting together quality superhero movies. Using those in the industry that understand comic book history and popularity is a step in the right direction.
Warner Bros. interest in making money and the competition of Marvel will improve their efforts to get a share of the comic book movie media. Talents like Bruce Timm have helped in outstanding animated movies and programs and now with Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer and of course Christopher Nolan perhaps they can turn things around for the cinema. This is a great time to see what’s happening in the movie industry and the sky’s the limit. Let Marvel do well and finally DC Comics both in comic books and movies because we benefit from their efforts with great entertainment. What ever happens we will be there at Comics Talk. Stay tuned comic and movie faithful for more. 🙂 Walt