The Marvel vs. DC debate has raged on for decades. First it was the comics. Now it's their varied movie universes. And you probably know who comes out on top in this race. But even with all the scientific data at our disposal, can we really call this a fair fight? The guy who throws the first few punches while the other's not looking usually wins. And that's the case we have here. Kind of. But that's only when you look at the MCU versus the DCEU, not the entire output of superhero movies over the span of the last couple of decades.
For years and years, comic book fans have gathered in groups to weigh the weight of their favorite super heroes, pitting Captain America against Superman and Spider-Man against Batman. Marvel and DC have had crossover comics in the past to figure out who comes out on top, but with today's movies, we have to look into a few different things instead, as a DC and Marvel crossover movie sounds like an impossibility, unless Disney scoops up Warner Bros. sometime in the near future.
My Voucher Codes has put in all the hard work to figure this one out. And their goal is to settle this argument once and for all. They have ranked the 75 most popular superhero films based on audience reception, box office performance, and profitability against their budgets and overall gross.
Marvel is the clear cut winner here, overshadowing DC by an 11% average in audience scores and over $40 million in box office. First, we break down Marvel's findings, followed by DC.
Marvel break down:
- Average audience score: 72%
- Average critic score: 64.7%
- Average box office total gross: $290,432,814
- Average profit/loss: $460,895,918
DC break down
- Average audience score: 60.8%
- Average critic score: 58.8%
- Average box office total gross: $256,766,656
- Average profit/loss: $243,369,231
Some people have long believed that Superhero movies are suffering from fatigue, but the $2 billion that Infinity War pulled in this year would argue against that. There have been some great movies released over the years both from DC and Marvel. Just this year alone, along with Infinity War, we got the cultural phenomenon that was Black Panther and soon we'll get Aquaman, which many are calling the best movie since Warner Bros. kicked off the DCEU.
But some will look at what has happened and not consider this a fair fight, as Marvel has had untiring success with the MCU since launching in 2008 with Iron Man. While Marvel has the advantage here, the oldest movies of the 75 used for this study are the original Batman movie from 1966, with Superman coming almost a decade later in1978, followed by Superman II in 1980, then Batman in 1989, and Batman Returns in 1992. DC came out swinging hard, and Marvel didn't even attempt to catch up until they released Blade in 1998.
While DC dominated the early years, and really doesn't push them too far behind Marvel, the MCU is an unprecedented franchise that hasn't faltered in a decade, and DC has had a few stumbling blocks placed in front of it since heading out with their own branded DCEU. They are finally finding their footing, but we have to wonder if this is really a far fight.
DC came out strong in the early years, and only faltered when they tried to build a connected universe, a strategy which they are strongly course correcting now with movies like Joker and Birds of Prey as they continue on with the successful Wonder Woman franchise and Aquaman. DC is seriously coming into their own in the modern movie landscape, and it may not be long before they catch up with Marvel. The quality is there. Marvel only has the upper hand now, because of their hard work with the MCU. And they have many years of movies planned, making it difficult for anyone to catch up. But it will happen. While Marvel is the winner here, we believe DC has a chance to rise up and win sometime in the near future. No one can be king forever.