The BvS box office for the inaugural Batman-Superman pairing from director Zack Snyder has been a hot topic of conversation over the last few weekends.
Following an enormous worldwide release that almost drew $600 million in foreign and domestic take, BvS box office results rescinded significantly with drops of 70 and 60 percent before stalling at around $850 million overall.
The film needed to do in the neighborhood of $1 to $1.5 billion to be considered a viable franchise starter, but poor reviews from both audiences and critics have stopped it from reaching that goal.
Still, supporters will point to BvS box office numbers like these over at CinemaBlend showing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice surpassed Iron Man 2 this weekend.
— Batman (@BatmanStore) April 25, 2016
While that is true in one sense — the BvS box office domestically shows that the film has grossed $319 million to Iron Man 2‘s $312.4 million — fewer people in the U.S. have paid to see it.
According to Box Office Mojo, Iron Man 2 sold 39.299 million individual tickets when it was released in 2010 compared to Batman V Superman‘s 37.237 million.
Adjusting total revenue derived for inflation, Iron Man 2 is still the leader, having grossed in 2016 dollars $337 million.
If Batman V Superman stays in theaters long enough, it could overtake Iron Man 2 in a few weekends, but it’s not there yet in a straight apples-to-apples comparison.
It has merely made more money because ticket prices are higher today than they were six years ago.
Should it end up surpassing Iron Man 2 in every regard, that still wouldn’t be quite the feat that DC was hoping for from their two most popular characters sharing the same film.
Considering that the character of Iron Man was little-known to general audiences in 2010, beyond his surprise box office smash hit debut two years earlier, Marvel had less heritage to work with in promoting the first sequel.
Batman and Superman in the same film should have easily surpassed it, but as shown above, fewer people have bought tickets.
An even more grievous comparison between the DC Extended Movie Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that between Batman V Superman and Deadpool.
Deadpool made his solo film debut earlier this year in an R-rated film no less. Historically, R-rated films do not do as well at the box office because they are limited to a more adult audience, thus cutting out the lucrative teen and preteen markets.
Also, the Deadpool character was created after Iron Man and had less familiarity even to some familiar with the comic book industry.
He was certainly a lesser character going in; yet the numbers now show that Deadpool is safely in control of the U.S. race.
To date, the Ryan Reynolds-starring feature has grossed $361 million domestically compared to the BvS box office take of $319 million.
(And Batman V Superman is rated PG-13.)
The glaring differentiation between camp Marvel and camp DC is this: Marvel is in the business of creating household names out of all their characters, while DC is having trouble establishing enthusiasm behind some of the longest-running and most iconic creations in the history of the medium.
While most of Marvel’s creations rose to prominence in the 1960s, DC’s Superman first hit newsstands in June 1938. Batman arrived less than a year later in May 1939.
DC’s characters are easily recognizable even to people who’ve never picked up a comic book before in their lives.
The same cannot be said for some of the characters that Marvel started out with (like those mentioned above).
Yet with each passing film or television show, Marvel creations like Daredevil and Jessica Jones and Deadpool and Iron Man are proving to be as (or even more) popular with audiences of today.
But what do you think, readers?
Are the BvS box office numbers discouraging in spite of their profitability? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Iron Man 2 screen grab]