A new scientific study finally explains why Marvel does so much better at the box office than DC and the results aren't exactly what you'd expect. Fans of the franchises and critics seem to have their own theories as to why one is better than the other and some will even argue that DC makes better movies, but the topic almost always ends up in an argument about who's better, from the comics to the cinematic universes. This new study aims to put those arguments to rest and explain why Marvel comes out on top using a technology called Affectiva.
A new study done by ZappiStore, an automated research tech provider, claims that Marvel does better at the box office because they are able to emotionally engage their audiences better than DC can. The study was conducted using Affectiva, which when partnered with a standard web camera, can effectively measure facial expressions on a moment by moment basis in real-time. The subjects were shown Marvel and DC movie trailers while being watched by the Affectiva software and monitored the emotional engagement with the viewers.
Though the participants were only shown the trailer for the movies, there was a lot of data to be collected. For instance, DC movies seemed to get their best response when something utilizing CGI and other special effects were shown on the screen. However, there was not a lot of movement at all when the DC characters were present on the screen alone. Marvel movies on the other hand, were able to get positive reactions during all points of the trailers, including special effects and character emotional engagement. Humor was also a deciding factor in showing the emotional depth of the Marvel trailers, showing that overall, they resonated far better than the DC trailers.
One of the big indicators was the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, which scored 78 percent in terms of participants that loved the trailer, according to the emotional engagement. It was the highest in the study for a variety of reasons, with the first being the choice of song. Fleetwood Mac's hit song "The Chain" plays throughout the trailer, which already received high emotional marks on its own. Next up, fans reacted favorably to the characters that we're shown on the screen as well as the humor that permeates the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer. DC's highest movie was Justice League with a 71 percent in emotional engagement.
The study also noted that Marvel movies have a better "brand linkage" score, indicating that the participants closely linked the Marvel characters to comic books. The score also may prove that DC's seemingly inconsistent character connections are a main factor as well, which lowers their score. Marvel beats DC at the box office and a big factor may be because of the emotional responses that the movies create within their interconnected universe that works for people who are not familiar with comic book movies. This study will not shut down any arguments, it is interesting to see the data. You can see the data for yourself over at AdWeek.