Gary Collinson on the 2016 superhero box office showdown…
We’re used to seeing three or four superhero movies each year, but 2016 sees Hollywood’s infatuation with costumed heroes making the jump to ludicrous speed with SIX superhero movies set to grace the big screen (it would have been seven, had Fox been able to get its act together on Gambit). But which one will come out on top? Here’s our predictions for this year’s Superhero Showdown…
REVISITING LAST YEAR’S PREDICTIONS
As always, we’ll get things underway with a quick recap of last year, which saw Marvel bringing the curtain down on Phase Two with Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, and 20th Century Fox killing the Fantastic Four franchise again with the disasterous reboot from director Josh Trank.
Last Year’s Prediction – “While it should comfortably double the combined take of Ant-Man and The Fantastic Four, I think Avengers: Age of Ultron will ultimately fall short of Titanic’s $2.186 billion, and probably finish up with about $1.9 billion overall. Next up will be Ant-Man, with around $450-$500 million worldwide (although this could easily be in the $650 million+ range if it turns out to be heaps of fun), followed byThe Fantastic Four in the region of $350-$400 million.”
The Reality – Well, I got the order right (which wasn’t difficult, in fairness), but I way over-estimated Avengers: Age of Ultron’s box office prowess, with Joss Whedon’s second Marvel outing falling short of its predecessor with $1.405 billion. Ant-Man earned $519.3 million worldwide, while Fantastic Four could barely muster a third of my prediction, finishing up its run with a rather paltry $167.98 million.
THIS TIME AROUND
And so we come to 2016; dad Warner Bros. stood firm and not moved the date of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then we’d have a real showdown on our hands, but regardless it’s still a two-horse race between Batman v Superman and Marvel’s Phase Three-launching Captain America: Civil War. So, let’s get things underway…
Directed by Tim Miller
Starring Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), T.J. Miller (Weasel), Morena Baccarin (Copycat), Gina Carano (Angel Dust), Ed Skrein (Ajax), Stefan Kapicic (Colossus), Leslie Uggams (Blind Al) and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead)
After some leaked test footage sent the internet into a frenzy, 20th Century Fox finally gave the go ahead to the long-gestating Deadpool movie, as Ryan Reynolds returns as the Merc with a Mouth, hoping to banish the ghost of Wade Wilson’s first big screen appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
There’s no doubt that Deadpool’s fanbase is stoked for the movie and are sure to be queuing up opening day, while the marketing campaign has been exceptional, with all signs pointing to Fox having done the character justice at the second attempt. Still, it’s going to be R-rated, the only real draw in the cast is Ryan Reynolds, and Deadpool’s fanbase alone won’t be enough to propel this into the $500 million + range of today’s big superhero movies. It won’t need to do that kind of business to be considered a success, given that its budget is much lower, but it’s not going to break any records. Still, if tracking is any indication, it’s certainly not going to Trank at the box office either…
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth), Holly Hunter (Senator Finch), Tao Okamoto (Mercy Graves), Harry Lennix (General Swanwick), Christina Wren (Carrie Farris), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Thomas Wayne), Lauren Cohan (Martha Wayne), Callan Mulvey, Scott McNairy and Jenna Malone
It’s Batman, and Superman, together on the big screen for the very first time! What more do you need? Well, if you’re Warner Bros. then Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Lex Luthor, Doomsday, and possibly even Darkseid, it seems…
Joking aside, Warner Bros. kickstarts its DC Extended Universe and attempts to gain some ground on Marvel Studios by bringing together its two biggest icons courtesy of Man of Steel director Zack Snyder. Expectations for the film are huge, and rightly so. There’s nothing in the DC library that has bigger name recognition than ‘Batman v Superman‘ for general moviegoing audiences, and given the rumours that the film may be the most costly in history, it really needs to perform at the box office. Early tracking is suggesting a North American opening weekend of $154 million, but this will surely have no problem breaking a billion worldwide… right?
Captain America: Civil War
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Starring Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Paul Bettany (The Vision), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Daniel Bruhl (Baron Zemo), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), Frank Grillo (Crossbones), William Hurt (General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross) and Martin Freeman
Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off this May with the release of Captain America: Civil War, which adapts one of the biggest comic book arcs in Marvel history, and pits Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers against Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a fantastic entry in the MCU, and so naturally big things are expected from Anthony and Joe Russo’s second directorial outing. Essentially, this is Avengers 2.5, with only The Incredible Hulk and Thor absent from the roster. It also marks the introduction of two new heroes in Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and of course Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Civil War is a big enough draw itself, but throw in the wall-crawler for his Cinematic Universe debut, and Marvel has a sure-fire success on its hands. That being said, it will only have three weeks before it faces some big superhero competition.
Click below to continue on for X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange and our final predictions…