DC Comics was the first to find success on the big screen with early hits such as Superman in 1978 and Batman in 1989. However, because of Marvel’s recent success with hits like The Avengers and Iron Man 3, the perception among many current fans is that Marvel is crushing DC Comics at the box office.
In an interesting letter shared on Reddit, a seventh grader with this perception wrote DC Comics with a movie question. The seventh grader asked, “How does DC plan to compete against Marvel movies when Marvel seemingly dominates the live action superhero movie industry?”
In their response back to the seventh grader, DC Comics wrote, “How do we plan to compete you ask: Well Marvel may have many movies that come out in one year and the reason for that is they have many different distributors which makes it possible for them to do so. DC Comics has one distributor who is Warner Bros., and well we don’t like to toot our own horn (well actually we do) our movies by far exceed all of Marvels in sales.”
The letter is generating quite a bit of debate on Reddit. While most are commending DC Comics for taking the time to write back a rather extensive letter (and send some free comics) to one of their fans, not all agree with the assessment that DC Comics movies are beating Marvel movies in terms of sales.
In the last two years, it certainly appears that Marvel has been dominating DC Comics in terms of both quantity and sales. In 2012, Marvel’s The Avengers was number one at the U.S. box office with $623 million in grosses compared to The Dark Knight Rises in second with $448 million in grosses. In 2013, Iron Man 3 topped the U.S. box office with $409 million compared to Man of Steel’s $291 million. Even when taking into consideration the international box office, Marvel movies still come out by far on top.
Now, DC Comics could be referring to their entire history at the box office. If you take inflation into account for DC Comics movies in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, then a case could possibly be made for DC Comics movies selling more, but still the numbers seem to point to Marvel’s advantage. Check out the letters below embedded from Imgur.com.