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Here’s why Marvel movies are so much more successful than DC, according to a DC writer

Published Jul 27th, 2021 12:42PM EDT
Marvel DC
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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Comic book movies have been dominating the box office for over a decade now. Since Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made well over $22 billion worldwide. DC attempted to follow suit with its own cinematic universe in starting 2013 with the release of Man of Steel. Over the past eight years, the DC Extended Universe has made millions of fans of its own, but it hasn’t been nearly as cohesive or consistent as the MCU. There have been just nine DCEU movies to date, and they have grossed $5.6 billion at the global box office. So why has Marvel had so much more success than DC? One of the DCEU’s top screenwriters might have the answer.

Last week, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with screenwriter David S. Goyer. In addition to writing Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Goyer co-wrote the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. His work helped pave the way for the arrival of DC Films.

As such, his comments regarding DC’s theatrical ambitions are especially interesting. Here’s what he said when asked what he would do next if he were in charge:

I think one of the issues is that Marvel’s had consistent leadership for the last 15 years or more, whereas DC hasn’t. There have been all of these changes in terms of who is running DC. That is fundamentally very hard. It’s hard to make any headway when leadership is changing. One of the other things that’s made Marvel incredibly successful is all of their adaptations are true to the source material. Ant-Man feels like Ant-Man. The Hulk feels like the Hulk. They don’t try to change things up. I would say, try to hew closer to what was the original intent. So, it’s having a consistent universe, having consistent leadership and staying true to the source material.

Kevin Feige has been a steady hand at Marvel for over two decades. He started as a producer on the pre-MCU movies, was named President of Production for Marvel Studios in 2007, and now runs the entire company. He has had a say in every project since the MCU kicked off in 2008, and it shows.

That’s not to say that he is solely responsible for the success of Marvel’s movies and shows — nor would he want to take the credit — but having one singular voice at the top for over a decade is one of the key differences between Marvel and DC.

There are rumors that DC might make a direct sequel to Man of Steel. For now, Goyer is focused on his new show, Foundation, which will premiere on Apple TV+ on September 24th.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.