Marvel's "Ant-Man 3" and "Black Panther 2," both released recently, received low ratings despite making it to the hot movie charts of Peliplat and IMDb. The protagonists of these movies are considerably less attractive to audiences compared to characters like Iron Man and Captain America from the previous decade.
In fact，Marvel has not released any movies that have impressed viewers since "Avengers: Endgame." Meanwhile, DC's "The Batman" from last year performed well at both the box office and in reviews. If Marvel fails to create compelling works, I believe the next decade will be an opportunity for Batman and Superman to surpass them.
My opinion is not based solely on intuition. Before 2008, DC held much more significant influence than Marvel.
Stage 1: 1978-2007
Excluding the older TV dramas, live-action films, and animated series, the year 1978 marked the beginning of DC's cinematic universe with the release of "Superman," starring Christopher Reeve as the iconic superhero.
Likewise, 2000's "X-Men" can be considered as the starting point for Marvel's cinematic universe, although it is unclear if the grand plan for the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" had already been conceived at that time. However, looking at the inception of both universes, DC took the lead by a full 22 years.
Following the release of "Superman" in 1978, four consecutive sequels were produced, including "Supergirl" in 1984. Although the films received mixed reviews, they established the foundation for the development of the "DC Universe."
In 1989, the DC Universe experienced its second peak with Tim Burton's "Batman." Even by today's standards, the "double Burton" version of "Batman," featuring Tim Burton as the director and Michael Keaton as the lead actor, remains of high quality. However, the following sequels, including the second, third, and fourth installments, were less successful. By the time George Clooney played Batman, the series had lost much of its former glory.
The release of "Batman & Robin" in 1997 was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews, forcing DC to consider reviving the series. This was a similar situation to what had happened ten years earlier with "Superman IV," resulting in both major IP franchises being put on hold. Consequently, DC did not release any live-action films for eight years.
During this hiatus, DC shifted its focus to producing high-quality animated works, too numerous to mention here.
In 2004, DC produced a lackluster "Catwoman" film that only served to earn Halle Berry a "Razzie" award. However, the following year saw the release of "Batman Begins," which marked the first successful step in DC's efforts to regain lost ground.
At the time, DC may not have fully recognized the threat posed by Marvel, their neighboring comic company. From 2000 to 2006, Marvel only released two "Spider-Man" films, the first "X-Men" trilogy, the poorly received "Daredevil," and the mediocre "Fantastic Four" and "The Punisher."
If you were the CEO of DC films in 2005, you too would have believed that Marvel's quality was the same despite having more movies than us. Plus, the critical acclaim of "Batman Begins" gave DC a glimmer of hope for revitalizing the "Batman" franchise.
With "Batman" back in action, "Superman" could not remain dormant. Therefore, in 2006, DC embarked on its ambitious second step with "Superman Returns," starring Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Although the film did not receive the same enthusiastic response as "Batman Begins," it was still stable without any outstanding achievements.
DC was undoubtedly disappointed, as "Superman" was their true flagship. Fortunately, in 2008, Nolan's "The Dark Knight" brought "Batman" to an unprecedented peak, becoming Nolan's crowning achievement.
While DC was celebrating the rise of "Batman," Marvel was already plotting its grand strategy. The releases of "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" in 2008 marked the formal establishment of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe." Meanwhile, the original "Spider-Man" trilogy, the original "X-Men" trilogy, and the two-part finale of the original "Fantastic Four" that needed to be settled were all wrapped up. Thus, a new era of Marvel was ushered in.
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