As much as he’s tried, it seems that Ben Affleck just can’t seem to distance himself from Daredevil… though, in this case, it’s Daredevil that the newest caped crusader has been unable to shake off.
In case you’ve missed the news, Marvel recently announced the première date for Season 2 of its gritty Netflix series and, as it happens, the return of Daredevil will occur on, March 18, 2016…
A mere week before DC’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters.
While the release decision could conceivably have been made by Netflix, a forward-thinking company that likely realizes how smart it is to capitalize on a month already essentially reserved for superheroes, many are taking Daredevil’s release date as a less-than-subtle throwing of the proverbial gauntlets by Marvel.
Especially when you take into account the fact that the première date for Batman V Superman was already moved so as not to clash with Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.
DC’s aforementioned move, though viewed by many as the multi-billion dollar corporation equivalent of a dog running with its tail between its legs, was one that was clearly thought out and done with the intent of making as much money as feasibly possible. The Batman V Superman battle is certainly intriguing, but the fact that DC chose to move the film’s premiere speaks highly (in my opinion) of how the company thought it would fare against the Marvel juggernaut where the Box Office is concerned. It’s hard to remain unbiased with something like this because, while I’ll definitely be seeing Dawn of Justice in theaters, the fact of the matter is, had it premiered on its original release date, I would have skipped it in favor of watching the Steve Rogers V Tony Stark showdown instead.
Which is something that I’m fully confident that DC was aware of.
Marvel has dominated the superhero genre as of late, giving fans at least two films a year since Iron Man, and has therefore established its characters and the various worlds that said heroes live in. Captain America has been showcased in four films to Superman’s one, making it more than likely that he would be the chosen hero to watch in the cinema over a weekend.
Simply because audiences are more familiar with Chris Evans‘ Cap than Henry Cavill‘s Man of Steel.
This fact alone makes it understandable why DC would move up the premiere of Batman V Superman, and attempt to avoid a Marvel V DC showdown at the box office. Unfortunately, while managing to evade a Dawn of Justice V Civil War cinematic duel, DC wasn’t able to avoid Marvel entirely. It’s doubtful that Daredevil’s release date is a mere coincidence and, while DC’s move was calculated, it seems as though Marvel’s was as well.
While hard to compare seeing a multi-million dollar film in theaters to watching TV on a streaming service, the shared release week of Daredevil and Dawn of Justice could actually have more of an impact than people might think. Daredevil is seemingly the David to Batman V Superman’s Goliath, and there are many factors that could have the masked hero of Hell’s Kitchen seriously influencing the success of his Gotham/Metropolis counterparts.
First of all, it’s safe to say that most avid superhero fans will undoubtedly be watching both Daredevil and Dawn of Justice immediately upon their respective releases. That’s a fact that seems pretty undisputable to me.
It’s everyone else that remains the wildcards where this particular showdown is concerned.
Because, while comic fans, comic movie fans, and superhero aficionados will have no reservations about following a binge of Daredevil with a midnight screening of Dawn of Justice, others might only have enough room in their week for one superhero.
And the fact of the matter is, for some people, Daredevil might be the hero of choice.
Some of you are likely still wondering how a streamed television show could POSSIBLY have an impact on a film featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. That’s completely understandable and I totally get it. It initially seemed pretty unbelievable to me as well. The instant the alleged Daredevil release date was announced (many believed the second season of the show would air the same day as BvS), my Twitter feed exploded with people wondering how it might influence DC’s film. For a solid five minutes I admit to rolling my eyes and scoffing at what I thought was a pretty overdramatic reaction to the news.
Then I thought about it a little more.
The DC film has been teased and speculated about for years now (remember when Bryan Cranston seemed like the frontrunner for Lex Luthor?) and I’m sure most people are assuming that it will destroy the weekend box office. Those people are right, it absolutely will. I don’t doubt that for a second. I fully expect Dawn of Justice to take the #1 spot and completely believe that it will make a boatload of money.
BUT, it’s just as possible that the boatload of money it DOES make might be a bit less than what it would have raked in were it not to have shared its première weekend with Marvel’s Daredevil.
I need you to now take into consideration the following:
- Some people might just not feel like splurging on ridiculously overpriced movie tickets, far preferring to watch something on a service that they’ve already paid for. It’s easy enough for people to catch daily flicks at their local movie theater, but for others the thought of shelling out $13.50 on a 2 hour movie is somewhat nauseating. Less nauseating? Spending $0 (in that specific moment) on a 10 hour television series that you can stream on Netflix. People love seeing movies but less feel the need to watch them on opening weekend, and many don’t feel the need to watch them in the theaters at all. For many people, streaming Daredevil, “for free,” and renting Dawn of Justice for a couple of bucks a few months down the line is the far more preferable and logical option.
- Comfort and convenience. Why leave the comfort of your own home for the sole purpose of being squished in an over-crowded theater with a bunch of strangers you’ve never met, that will likely be cheering and jeering anytime Batman decides to V Superman? Opening weekends mean settling for the best seat you can find, which is often the worst seat in the theater, and missing half the film because you’re too focused on the uncomfortable crick in your neck that comes with sitting in the front row. For many people who don’t feel the need to subject themselves to obscured views and cramps in order to say they saw something opening day, staying cozy at home where you know you’ll get the best seat is way more appealing. These couch potatoes that want to lounge around in their pajamas, eat popcorn that doesn’t cost $7, and not worry about running into that one person they know and wish they didn’t might understandably choose to spend their March 25th weekend with Daredevil over Batman V Superman.
- The long-watch vs the binge watch. Many people likely assume that Batman V Superman has nothing to fear considering it’s release is slated for the week following the mass release of all 13 episodes of Daredevil’s sophomore season. This is understandable if you’re assuming that everyone who watches Netflix is of the binge-watching variety. BUT, believe it or not, there’s a pretty large number of people who actually manage self-restraint and instead choose to prolong the experience of watching their favorite show. These people, who might instead opt to watch an episode a night or one each week, will still be watching Daredevil by the time Dawn of Justice hits theaters. And, again, if they’re midway through watching a favorite show, and don’t want to give up one superhero in favor of another, there’s a strong likelihood that Batman V Superman will be saved for a later date.
4. Marvel V DC. This is the big one for most people. The Marvel vs DC debate has been going on forever and has seemingly divided the world in the process. For some, even uttering the word Superman might get you thrown out of the house, while for others the mere mention of Daredevil could mean no dessert for a week. Some pretty vicious lines have been drawn over the years and they seem to be growing more and more pronounced as the comic powerhouses are producing more films and television shows. Those impassioned fans, who have Marvel in their blood, will likely opt to choose to spend their time with the equally crimson Daredevil rather than Superman and Batman. Whether this is because they genuinely prefer Matt Murdock to Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, or because they simply want to stick it to DC, doesn’t really matter. DC won’t care why you’re not seeing Dawn of Justice, they’ll only care that you aren’t.
There are likely numerous other reasons why an individual might choose to stay at home with Daredevil instead of venturing out to see Batman V Superman and all of them are just as potentially damaging as the next.
I’m sure many of you still remain unconvinced that Daredevil might honestly have an impact on the much-anticipated DC film so think about it this way: There are approximately 319 million Americans and of that number roughly 40 million have Netflix subscriptions.
While doubtful that all of those people, and more specifically all of those Netflix subscribers will choose to watch Daredevil instead of Dawn of Justice, theoretically if all 40 million did, in a country whose average movie ticket costs $9 (side note, holy hell where can I go to pay that little for a movie?!?!?) that’d be a potentially $360 million dollar right-hook to DC’s face.
And I’m sure Marvel already has its left-hook ready. DC’s Suicide Squad better watch its back because, at this point, I’d bet that $360 million on the fact that Marvel’s Luke Cage is coming for it.
What do you make of the continuing adventures of DC V Marvel? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a Tweet!