Now is a bad time to build a cinematic universe

If there’s one thing that MCU The last decade has shown that a cohesive film saga is just the ticket. The allure of Marvel Studios has managed to transform even the most unlikely of heroes into an extremely profitable venture. Still, the old adage “great artists copy, great artists steal” doesn’t really bode well for either Warner Bros. or Sony, which their executives may not have noticed.

In the case of the DCEU, the issue is a little more problematic when it comes to plans for the MCU-inspired film saga, given that the blueprint was drafted almost a decade ago man of Steel Premiered. But in Sony’s case, it would have been wiser if the studio had taken note of the current superhero movie landscape. At a time when even the almighty Marvel seems to be struggling to get a foothold in Phase 4, both the DCEU and Sony’s Spider-Man universe are left wondering if the MCU can even be replicated.


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The grass is always greener on Marvel’s side

With at least 10 movies and 6 new series planned over the next five years, it seems pretty ridiculous to question the success or viability of Marvel Studios. However, the numbers don’t lie. Since the start of phase four, the MCU hasn’t hit the same numbers as it did when Cap and Iron Man were still around. Now, six films in what is rumored to be a fresh start for the franchise, the results are mixed at best. Reactions range from the relative busts like Black widow and eternalto more mediocre artists like Shang Chiall the way to proven classics like Doctor Strange and Thor.

The problem is even Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and love and thunder appear destined to miss that coveted billion-dollar milestone. None of its direct predecessors have achieved this, but it is a feat that, despite rising global inflation, seems increasingly unlikely in the near future. The themes in the MCU’s fourth phase have become increasingly diverse from virtually every point of view, but with so many current storylines with no clear route as the Infinity Saga did, it’s hard to imagine those record-breaking numbers reappearing until the next Avengers team-up movie happens.

Even as the budgets for all of these CGI-packed superhero blockbusters continue to grow, so do the studios’ expectations and goals. Movies are under a lot of pressure to become as profitable as they used to be. The fact that China took an anti-Marvel stance in Phase 4 doesn’t help, as the country’s massive population was always something the studios could rely on to squeeze out the final $200 million that typically makes up the production budget of a film covered.

Disney Plus’ Marvel shows are a whole new breed. The platform currently acts as a playground where the studio can introduce new characters with added depth. You don’t have to convince moviegoers like movies do because users are already paying for all the content. All things considered, although the MCU might not reach the same heights without a Secret Wars-style film in the near future, its established fan base leaving it more room for experimentation.

Building a cinematic universe from scratch

The problems Warner Bros. and Sony face are drastically different. The former is still grappling with the aftermath of its failed DCEU attempt, while Sony finds itself with a slew of critically planned films that could never live up to the high standards of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The Warner Bros. Discovery conglomerate has at least established HBO Max as a platform it can use to launch many new IPs, such as the successful one peacemaker or the promising bat girl. Even so, it’s debatable whether a large-scale, interconnected universe will play to DC’s strength as much as Marvel. For example movies like joker and The Batman prove that isolation promotes creativity much better than having to put together future films or other superheroes, so why Batman’s Spinoffs aren’t necessarily a good idea.

As if that wasn’t enough, the ongoing DCEU initiative has all but lost its course after that The Lightning Lead actor Ezra Miller has been thrown into so many legal troubles that they are no longer a viable option to run the lines for DC. Sure, DC’s upcoming movies are looking promising with Dwayne Johnson bringing in his box office powers Black Adam and Shazam!but regardless, their commitment to the DCEU hampers their individual potential, especially when Zack Snyder is out of the picture.

Sony’s prospects are much better. Spider-Man is more than enough to entice people to watch anything. But still, such as poison and disease it’s still missing a proper Spidey of its own and both seem to be overly reliant on their tenuous MCU connection, as evidenced by Adrian Toomes’ nonsensical multiverse jump. Simply put, there can’t be a Sony Spider-Man universe with the only Peter Parker variant hanging out in the MCU.

Overall, both DC and Sony thrive when their most iconic heroes thrive on their own adventures, rather than wasting precious screen time on other stories or compromising their own artistic vision in favor of connectivity. So at least until Sony unveils a new Spider-Man, Sony’s cinematic universe doesn’t have much more than its DC counterpart.

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