MARVEL VS. DC or THE BATTLE OF THE SUPER HEROES

Now that the major movie award season is officially swept under the rug for this year (or actually, for 2017), now it’s time to put away the good looking movies aside for home video and/or streaming, and to concentrate on the features that the movie going public at large would be willing to pay to see!

And no offense implied to those features that copped their Oscars at last Sunday’s Academy Awards presentation as those movies, as artistic as they were, are not necessarily the kind of movies that make a whole lot of money. Since people are still willing to plunk down $10.00 and up to view a feature in a theater setting, one must receive their money’s worth in terms of amusement value as those same folks can also watch movies on any electronic device that sports a video screen and in many cases for minimal cost! (Even for free!)

Over the last few years, it appears that the movies that tend to rake in the cash (thanks to those that plop down the admission price at the local multiplex box office) are those that fall under the genre of Action-Adventure with an emphasis of comic book super hero types. These are the movies that feature a lot of the self-described action pieces with plenty of special effects added for, well, action and adventure! These types of movies may not carry the same artistic qualities that a melodrama may hold, but as long as they are entertaining for what they are, that is what really matters! (Remember. movies are made to make money. People go to movies to be entertained. If you have a feature that is indeed entertaining, then it will make money! A simple case of economic logic!)

In the super hero universe, there are only three of these kind of domains where these super heroes exist. Those spots are DC, Marvel, and “everyone else”.

There is a rather difference between these three. Let’s give a brief look between these places where the super heroes do their thing in the name of justice, truth, and the “universal” way. (Although just about all of these sources were created in the USA, they also must hold an international appeal. So much for concept!)

We’ll begin with DC. This company was the first place where the age of the super heroes were born. DC Comics came around in 1935 under the name of “National Periodical Publications”. In the 30’s, most comic book titles were anthologies, consisting of various characters that had their own stories and rarely crossed over each other. Each one of these characters were based upon a theme, lifting from the sources of pulp fiction that contained plenty of action and high adventure. At the end of that decade, NPP created their two mainstays, Superman (appearing in Action Comics) in 1938, and The Batman (as this character was originally referred as), a year later in Detective Comics. Those heroes became immediate hits. Their comic lines (Action and Detective Comics) continued throughout the decades. (That is what “DC” originally stood for; “Detective Comics”, giving this company their name change from NPP to DC Comics in the 1970’s!) There were the movie tie-ins for Batman through a serial made by Columbia Pictures in the 40’s, and the Superman cartoons created by Dave and Max Fleischer around the same time. Since then, many other super hero types came and went from NPP/DC. Warner Bros. bought the company in the middle 1970’s, starting off the modern era of movie and TV tie-ins.

Marvel first made its mark in the 1940’s, but it was a different domain. The Marvel that exists today was created in the early 1960’s under the helm of comic book writer and editor Stan Lee. This is were such characters as The Fantastic Four, Spider Man, X-Men, and a host of others made the scene, including the revival of Captain America, a character that came from the original Marvel Comics born in the height of World War II. Marvel’s (or better known as Marvel Comic Group) creation’s was timed toward the start of the modern comic book collecting rage that began around 1964. It also showed a lot of creations of other super heroes throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Some are still around while others dropped out of sight.

Today, Marvel is owned by The Walt Disney Company that knows how to market a property to its maximum. Along with owning LucasFilms, these two sources made Disney a big source for making money. Mickey Mouse and company are OK for what they are, but one has to keep with the times.

Getting back to movies featuring the DC and Marvel line of heroes. What are the differences between the two, and how to they appeal to the movie going public? An automated market research tech provider called ZappiStore conducted a study that looked upon the emotional appeal of a Marvel character vs. one from DC’s universe based upon emotional engagement with the superheroes.

The study had people watch a series of movie trailers of super hero movies that featured DC and Marvel characters. Using a platform called Affectiva, appiStore was able to test the trailer viewer’s emotional engagement by using facial coding and emotion recognition as seen within these previews based upon using a web camera for the reaction to the viewer of the trailer can be later seen and documented, Affectiva was able to measure the viewer’s facial expressions of emotions at each moment. The results were then collected and displayed in a dashboard setting.

The results? DC super hero trailers has a lot of appeal toward action and special effects depicted. Marvel trailers had their heroes loaded with colorful character traits and personality. In many cases, humor was the real attraction. The Guardians of the Galaxy series, a Marvel comic line that first made its appearance in the 1970’s, not only offer plenty of characters sporting cocky attitudes, but also featured music from the era of its creation–the 1970’s! (The GOTG2’s trailer used Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 recording of “The Chain”). Deadpool also featured its main character as somebody that would be considered as a wiseass, never taking its super hero-ing in any serious matter. This compares to the trailers for DC’s The Justice League and Batman vs. Superman that showed its films to be rather darker and sobering in nature. (Remember, these are based on comics, not on drama!)

Therefore, this is perhaps why folks will flock to a Marvel feature vs. a DC title. Again, comics and the movies that bring them to life exist for the notion of pure entertainment value. And since these titles skew a younger audience (aged 30 and under), one has to have the required action, and if done correctly, a selection of comedy relief. You can have the darker issues, but the fun appeal becomes rather lost! Just have those character spit out a couple of one-liners, and enjoy the ride!

PS…this report noted that there is an “everyone else” source. Those sources are from comic sources that made its mark within the last twenty five or so years when independent comic companies became to make the scene that were alternatives to the DC/Marvel domain. A number of those characters are making some light with fresh new ideas and concepts. Will they become successful over time and tide in terms of media properties? It’s just a matter of time that they will, just as long as they can get the job done with plenty of explosions, gunfire, and jokes!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

On Sunday, March 4th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented the 90th Academy Awards presenting the Oscar for the best films of the 2017 calendar year, held at the Dolby Theater within the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood and once again hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Gary Oldman won Best Actor for the feature release The Darkest Hour. Frances McDormand won Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Guillermo del Toro won Best Director for The Shape of Water, and The Shape of Water won as Best Picture.

For a list of all nominees and winners, visit the official web site at
http://www.Oscars.com.

The day before (March 3rd), the Golden Raspberry Foundation presented the 38th Razzie Awards awarding the Razzie for the worst films released in the 2017 calendar year via a presentation made available through streaming media.

Tom Cruise won Worst Actor for the feature release The Mummy. Tyler Perry won Worst Actress for BOO! 2: A Medea Halloween. Anthony “Tony” Leondis won Worst Director for The Emoji Movie, and The Emoji Movie won as Worst Picture.

The special Rotten Tomatoes Award, presented to a nomonated title as a “so-bad-it’s-good” feature went to the Paramount release Baywatch.

For a listing of all nominated films and people as well as its “winners’, visit the official Razzes web site at http://www.Razzies.com
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