Superman vs. Captain America. Batman vs. Iron Man. Deadpool vs. literally anyone. Nerds love debating who would win, who is more interesting. It goes for Marvel and DC, too, both at the newsstand and in theaters. While DC has its share of supporters, it’s Marvel that’s raking in the bills at the box office. The premiere of Marvel’s hotly anticipated Black Panther brought this into sharp relief over the last few days. As it broke records for February movie premieres and performed spectacularly in its own right, it also showed just how wide the gulf is between Marvel and DC’s cinematic productions.
In four short days, over Black Panther‘s first weekend, the movie pulled in an impressive $242 million in the U.S., putting it $14 million past Justice League‘s entire domestic theatrical run.
Black Panther is an important character in Marvel comics, but he’s no Spider-Man or Captain America. He’s a B-lister when it comes to public perception. In comparison, the heroes of the Justice League are legendary icons, whose emblems and names are recognized the world over.
As ComicBook.com notes, even the star-power of Justice League should’ve virtually guaranteed it a great box-office haul. Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, and Jason Momoa are bona fide stars, and Henry Cavill and Ezra Miller are both fairly well known in their own rights. Black Panther has a few big names, but only Michael B. Jordan has the kind of star power to get people buying tickets in the same way you’d expect from Momoa or Gadot.
Whether you want to blame bad decisions at the studio, weird artistic choices, or just audience tastes, Marvel is seeing one of its lesser-known characters beat the tights off DC’s biggest names. It’s not even a contest.
Let’s not even start on how much money Avengers: Infinity War is going to make when it hits theaters on May 4. If you haven’t checked out Black Panther yet, don’t miss your chance. Check out our review.