by Shane “ Make Mine Marvel” Hnetka
Sometimes when movies are released into non- English-speaking countries, the names don’t translate correctly gauge. In Japan, for instance, the Sam Raimi classic Army of Darkness became Captain Supermarket. But this takes top prize: in China, Guardians of the Galaxy has been renamed Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team. Thank you and goodnight.
Battle of the Super Films
About a month ago Warner Bros., which owns DC comics, unveiled its up-and-coming movie slate. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives March 25, 2016, Suicide Squad hits Aug. 5, 2016, Wonder Woman opens June 23, 2017, Justice League Part One lands Nov. 17, 2017, The Flash opens March 23, 2018, Aquaman on July 27, 2018, Shazam on April 5, 2019, Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019, Cyborg on April 3, 2020 and Green Lantern on June 19, 2020.
Warner Bros. also announced some Lego movies and some Harry Potter spin-offs, but it’s clear now that the studio is trying to get their superhero cinematic universe going. With the exception of Shazam, all the films will be tied to their Justice League franchise.
Not to be outdone, Marvel announced their upcoming movie slate. Captain America: Civil War comes out May 6, 2016, Doctor Strange opens Nov. 4, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 launches May 5, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok descends July 28, 2017, Black Panther opens Nov. 3, 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part I arrives May 4, 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6, 2018, Inhumans hits theatres Nov. 2, 2018 and, finally — for now — Avengers: Infinity War – Part II ends Marvel’s “phase three” on May 3, 2019.
That’s a lot of superheroes movies, and that’s not even including any Spider-Man movies from Sony and upcoming Fantastic Four and X-Men films from Fox. Will it be too much? Well, I guess that depends on the films, the way they are marketed and the most importantly the audience. As a comic book fan I’m excited to see such a super-glut of film. But will the average moviegoer get tired of it? Possibly.
Most of Marvel’s efforts should do all right. They’ve been at this for a while and they have their system down to a science. DC/Warner should have a couple of hits, but most of their films face an uphill struggle to find an audience.
That’s not saying it can’t be done, but DC/Warner needs to get their shit together.
Fans Vs. Shareholders
Compare the way both studios announced these film slates. DC/Warner announced its at a shareholders meeting. If you scrolled down the list of topics, oh, here are our movies. No real fanfare. Marvel, on the other hand, held a press conference, with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chadwick Boseman (now cast as Black Panther). They introduced each movie, some had mini-trailers and every movie had a logo. Marvel sold the films to its audience. Hollywood is a business and the ability to market your product is everything.
Warner Bros. needs to step up. They have a long way to go before audiences will watch another Green Lantern movie.
Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at prairiedogmag.com.