What to expect from 2016’s superhero blockbusters
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Superhero movies are perhaps the most common and successful blockbusters today. Many of these films make billions of dollars at the box office. Some say the market has become oversaturated with the same ideas, while others enjoy watching the evolution of superhero movies as a genre of its own.
However you feel about them, superhero flicks are here to stay. The 2016 market began with the unexpected success of Deadpool, which grossed five times its budget in the opening weekend alone. The rest of the year will see five more comic book blockbusters attempting to match those figures.
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice: A sequel to the Superman reboot Man of Steel, this relaunch will pit the most famous comic book characters of all time against each other. Unlike their Marvel counterparts, DC’s previous superhero movies have been derailed by poor reviews and multiple reboots. This marks the beginning of DC’s shared-universe franchise.
Trailers have indicated a darker atmosphere than most superhero movies. Many of the character changes have been divisive among fans, along with an abundance of cameos setting up future films. DC has a lot riding on this film if they want to truly compete with Marvel’s success and have a solid presence in the market for the next few years.
Release Date: March 25.
Captain America: Civil War: The latest Avengers-universe release will see former friends and teammates Captain America and Iron Man declare war on one another’s values. The superheroes of this world will be divided against the government and each other in the ethics of superhuman registration and regulation. This movie sets up “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will be introducing several supporting characters in anticipation of their own future films.
All 12 movies in this franchise have been positively received, and the abundance of well-known characters along with the breaking of formula suggests this one will do pretty well. Whether you’re a casual fan or die-hard enthusiast just waiting for the Thanos arc to complete, you’ll probably enjoy this one.
Release Date: May 6.
X-Men: Apocalypse: After a universe-reset via time travel (comics are weird) in the critically acclaimed X-Men: Days of Future Past, this entry will take place in the 1980s. It will follow younger versions of familiar and new X-Men as they attempt to stop Apocalypse, an immortal and powerful mutant who’s been around since Ancient Egypt.
The latest few X-Men films have been much better received than previous ones, and we can hope this film delivers a new and exciting storyline. Fan reactions to the new actors and characters will be the ultimate decision in the continuation of this franchise.
Release date: May 27.
Suicide Squad: This film is based on a lesser-known, off-the-wall comic book team. The Suicide Squad are the most dangerous incarcerated supervillains in the world, who take on equally dangerous forces for the government in exchange for their freedom. Set in the same universe as Batman vs. Superman, viewers can expect appearances from fan-favourite characters like The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Incredibly polarizing in everything from its announcement to the latest trailer, this concept is unlike anything done in the genre before. The marketing switched from a dark and gritty tone to a more comedic and absurd atmosphere. Whether this movie will ultimately do well and help the DC universe is anyone’s guess.
Release Date: August 5.
Doctor Strange: Another Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptation, this time with a greater focus on fantasy and magic than science fiction. Doctor Strange is the tale of a brilliant and arrogant neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands in a car accident. Strange is then granted magical powers by a mysterious being known as the Ancient One.
A sharp departure from Marvel’s usual concepts, an all-star cast and urban fantasy tone may be just what comic book movies need to stay fresh. However, the lack of a trailer or any connection to the broader universe makes it difficult to assess.
Release Date: November 4.