Hannah Parker

Marvel v DC: Will Doctor Strange be a success?

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Marvel or DC? Superman or Captain America? Loki or The Joker? Which side are you on?

A war has begun in the world of superheroes. DC are on one side of no-mans land. Marvel are on the other. But, after the controversial Suicide Squad from DC took over August, October is certainly set to be Marvel month. Not only has the long-awaited TV series Luke Cage joined Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix, but Doctor Strange is set to hit UK cinemas on 25th October.

Empire Cinema in Sunderland has always been known to embrace the Marvel world to the fullest, with midnight premiere screenings and posters all over the city. The Marvel world has taken over. Not only kids, but adults are entering this Superhero world with a great passion. A night out on Halloween now feels like you really do live in the Marvel world, with Iron Man and Black Widow costumes in every bar you enter. This Marvel Universe offers a sense of escapism in a modern world that can sometimes feel lonely, fragile, and constantly on the brink of war.

There is a noticeable difference between the DC brand and Marvel. DC are much darker, while Marvel features a more comical and light-hearted universe. However, Marvel haven’t always played it safe. They’ve taken risks, with films including less well-known characters and based on less well-known comic books such as Guardians of The Galaxy. There was a lot of skepticism around this film, until the trailer was released, and suddenly fans decided to give it a chance. The film then became even more successful than Avengers Assemble.

Ethan Deplitch, a previous employee at Sunderland’s Empire Cinema talked about the difference between the release of a Marvel film to a DC film: “With Marvel it was a guaranteed banker, people knew what they were about to receive. Whereas with DC it was different, there was an uncertainty in the air. It’s hit and miss with DC.”

This opinion seems to be a popular one, with a member of the North East Avengers – a specialist costuming group based in the North East, portraying characters from The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy – Markus Franklyn stating: “People know they are getting a great Marvel movie every time. It’s been hit and miss with DC movies.” When comparing the most recent DC film, Suicide Squad, to the up and coming Marvel instalment Doctor Strange, Markus claims: “I think there’s more excitement in relation to Doctor Strange”. After the reviews for Suicide Squad came out as predominantly negative, it not only put people off going to see it, but added to the list of controversial DC film releases. Markus admitted: “I still haven’t seen Suicide Squad and I’m not worried that I haven’t seen it.”

So, despite the amount of Batman and Harley Quinn costumes you may see this Halloween, right now Marvel are beating DC in the cinema stakes. This brings us back to Doctor Strange and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), which includes a potentially surprising actor in Benedict Cumberbatch. Most male superheroes are either as big as a building, as muscly as Arnold Schwarzenegger, or full of cocky American charm. Cumberbatch fits into none of these boxes. However after seeing the posters and trailers, it’s easy to see why he was cast. Not only is the likeness in appearance uncanny, but this superhero is different to any other. He is more serious, gothic and deals with the mystical rather than the mundane, but there can be a downside to this. Out of the many superheroes and villains that Markus Franklyn has portrayed, Doctor Strange is his most recent. But he explained:  “I have more fun as the Joker. There’s a complete voice change and cartoonish character to go with it. I’ve been Loki too which is fun. I’m new to the world of Doctor Strange.” This may be the feeling of many with some tweets expressing more disinterest for this film than others. @NikkiCasson tweeted: “Unpopular opinion, I am not excited about Doctor Strange. I love Benedict Cumberbatch & Marvel Studios movies but I’m just not interested.”

However, there still are a lot of fans expressing their excitement on the internet. @raspiras8 tweeted: “Just saw the Doctor Strange sneak preview at Disneyland. OMG! I’M IN TEARS! I need to be taught the mystic arts!”

And @WitchBarbie is clearly living the Marvel dream: “OH MY HELL!!! I just got advanced passes to Doctor Strange!!! Like 3 weeks in advance! I’m seeing it Oct 10th!!!!!! Lucky girl”.

It’s not just social networks that get excited about new Marvel releases though, as Ethan Deplitch talked about how Empire Cinema Sunderland are always embracing them. “Marvel film releases were always a spectacle, it’s the time where the nerd was embraced. There were midnight screenings, people dressing up.”

He also explained that: “They payed a lot of attention to them because they know how important they are, how big they are at box offices.”

So, not only is the excitement real for Marvel films, but Empire noticed the impressive financial opportunity, with Marvel films being huge hits at the box office. Now, the cinema lets Marvel take over, and has already released the amount of showings they will be screening for Doctor Strange on it’s  first week, which is more than any other film being shown at the same time.

If you’re a Marvel fan, a Benedict Cumberbatch fan, or even just a superhero fan, you may want to get your tickets booked now for Doctor Strange, because Empire will certainly be expecting a big turn out. It’s potentially the most anticipated film of the year, and after the less-than-great reception of DC’s Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, people are relying on Marvel to deliver. They’ve done it time and time again, but how many more battles can they win before DC catch up?

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