Captain America: Civil War arrives in theaters on May 6, 2016, and so far critics are loving it. Coming on the heels of the critically panned Batman v Superman, it’s difficult not to compare two of the year’s biggest films. Its important to look at this aspect because as much as studio executives hate to admit it, Hollywood’s superhero genre is a race between Marvel and DC, with Marvel being the clear front runner.
The Zack Synder-directed Batman v Superman has made over $850 million dollars worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Normally, this would be considered a financial win for any film, but for this movie that isn’t the case. The film surprisingly underperformed in China — earning $70 million — a sum that is well under the $155 million earned by Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Daily Beast reports.
“Marvel knew how insane its ambition was to create a shared movie universe, so they slow-rolled it, creating movies with their own distinct identities, gradually introducing more characters.”
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo mentioned to The Hollywood Reporter soon after Batman v Superman was announced at Comic con 2013, that they pressed the studio into making sure Civil War became a reality. The Civil War story arc stands out more than any other, so their pitch to studio executives had to be engaging.
“Our pitch to them was: People will tell you they love chocolate ice cream — until you give it to them five days a week. It’s time to give them some rainbow sherbert. [Kevin Feige] said he thought we might be right. And after they announced Batman v. Superman, he said, ‘you guys are absolutely right.’ We needed to do something challenging with the material or we were going to start to lose the audience. Thats why ‘Civil War’ was made.”
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds tension between Avengers leaders Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. This leads them both to split the Avengers down the middle. Team Captain American features: Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
On team Iron Man are: Black Panther (Chadwick Bosman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), And Spider-Man (Tom Holland). The team was split for several reasons: one being that world governments feel the Avengers have too much power and need to be regulated, and two, they have caused too much global collateral damage. You can guess who is for and against this regulation by watching the trailers.
There are many similarities between Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War, but it does not mean there has to be a rivalry between the two. Not only did Batman v Superman pave the way for future films, but it paved the way for future DCEU films, like Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman. Remember, DC kicked off the recent superhero craze with Batman Begins. So as much of a “rivalry” as the two properties have, they inspire one another.
We are in a cinematic golden age of film, particularly superhero movies. Whether you prefer DC or Marvel, rejoice that each company helps propel one another to do better, and produce good content. Each company has a long film slate that spans five-to-seven years, and there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The fact that these films are getting made means that anyone who loves comics or just enjoys good, popcorn-chomping blockbuster fun wins.
[Image via Marvel/Disney]