When it comes to DC & Marvel, there are plenty of similarities. Not least because they rely on a common premise: on a band of otherwise individual superheroes who team up for the first time to save Earth from a horned-villain who seeks a powerful object that was hidden by the gods centuries ago, and who needs it to conquer the planet along with a massive alien army in tow. Just to cap off the similarities, director Joss Whedon was also asked to rewrite and direct both movies too.
Although saying they failed is perhaps slightly harsh. As massive fans of both franchises, what Justice League (the 2017 version) left me with can really be better described as a disappointment. As opposed to the wholly satisfying feeling that came with The Avengers movie, so maybe the question should be: What did The Avengers do better?
First off, we’re leaving Zack Snyder’s 2021 cut out of the discussion, as I think it’s safe to say that lessons were learned, and positive changes implemented in order to produce a much superior movie than its predecessor (y’know, if you ignore the ridiculous amount of backstory that got added of course.)
So, let’s break down both of the original movies and take a closer look at a few of the factors behind why The Avengers was able to reap a whopping $1518,815,515 box office success compared to Justice League’s paltry $657,925,295.
Marvel put the legwork in beforehand. While Iron Man (2008) wasn’t originally planned to be the first in a long line of superhero movies, its success did drive that ambition forward. When The Avengers came out in 2012, five standalone movies based on its core cast of characters had already been released, meaning that the audience already knew the character, had already watched their arcs develop, and were also (largely) big fans of the movie’s antagonist, Loki, too.
Justice League on the other hand, only had two previous movies based on the characters involved, leaving half of the core cast as relative strangers to the viewers who were following the franchise. In a rush to jump on the bandwagon, DC punted out their hero ensemble movie before earning the trust of the audience and this could be one of the main reasons that a handful of B, C, and D-list superheroes became vastly more popular than arguably the three most recognizable comic book heroes of all time.
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