I recently lost my cool on Facebook. Someone in a group posted a meme concerning the critical acclaim for Logan, considered to be a dark and gritty comic book movie, versus the critical panning of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also considered to be a dark and gritty comic book movie.
Forgetting the fact that BvS really isn't as dark and gritty as a lot of people seem to think it is, the comment section of this meme was laughably predictable. You had your DC Extended Universe supporters agreeing that the critics were biased along with the DCEU detractors calling the supporters crazy and so forth.
And that's when it hit me: It's been pretty much an entire year since BvS came out and we're dealing with more crap as DCEU supporters than we did when the movie first came out. Suicide Squad wins an Oscar for Hair and Makeup and we're told that the Oscars don't matter. A report comes out that claims Justice League, a movie still more than eight months away from release, is a "salvageable mess" right now. Zack Snyder himself directly gives us test footage of Aquaman in Justice League with a caption of "Working on my birthday," and it's assumed that it came from a WB employee that is soon to be fired for leaking it and complaints about its picture quality immediately surface. The Wonder Woman trailer comes out and a blog post about it ignites a "debate" about Gal Gadot's underarms being shaved.
Twelve months of this stuff. Nonstop, every day, even in the face of good news for the DCEU franchise. I've really had it. I kind of snapped in that comment section and I just wasn't willing to take any more of it. I wasn't crass or lowball or anything like that, but I made it clear how much the whole thing pissed me off and I was tired of people telling me and others constantly about how the DCEU sucks and is such a bad product. You're entitled to have your opinion, but no one likes being talked down to and effectively told they are stupid for almost an entire year straight.
I eventually cooled off and got a clearer head about it, but it still pisses me off the amount of garbage that DCEU fans have to take from Marvel fanboys, pretentious critics and angry bloggers that constantly tell them how substandard and "troubled" the DCEU is. They hate the three current films in the franchise, they are preparing to hate the next two with every overly-scrutinized report from a friend of a friend's cousin that knows someone who works for WB, and they are overly-critical of every production decision and development that occurs. Reshoots mean "trouble." Director changes mean "they don't know what they are doing." Bad Rotten Tomatoes scores means "It's time to reboot the whole franchise."
I came to realize the truth of the situation as an angry fan and it was something that I have always known but lost sight of in the middle of arguing with haters. First of all, it's a pointless argument. The critics that hate the DCEU and the bloggers that drag it through the mud and make videos that poke fun of serious issues like Ben Affleck's alcohol abuse are never going to change. They will always be trolls, they will always appeal to the lowest common denominator and they will always act like idiots for clicks and attention. That's the nature of what they do now, not actual journalism and reporting on facts without editorializing. Trying to get these people to see reason and take the responsibility they have as agents of the media seriously is completely futile. The odds are not in your favor and never will be when it comes to people that are that stubborn, confrontational and antagonistic. As tough as it is, it is best to ignore them......and there's one REALLY big way to do that.
It's simple: Keep supporting the DCEU, as in keep going to see the movies so long as you enjoy them. As much as people have tried to rationalize the numbers into nothing, the fact remains that WB has earned $2.287 billion at the box office between Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. That's an average of $762.3 million earned per movie worldwide. The domestic numbers aren't bad either, with each movie earning an average of $315.5 million per film. There's a dozen ways that people have tried to spin this into failure, but it's nowhere near failure. Those people will tell you that BvS was a flop because it failed to break a billion at the box office worldwide even with the trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in it. That is pure insanity. In no reality occupied by a rational person is $873.3 million earned at the box office even put in the same zip code as a flop. That's just a completely ignorant argument to make by the numbers.
Therefore, that argument and others like it should be treated as though they don't exist, because they really don't and they'll continue to not exist so long as the DCEU continues to make money. Suicide Squad, the most critically maligned of the DCEU movies made $745.6 million worldwide, which by comparison would make it the 6th highest grossing movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe if it was a Marvel property and the 3rd highest grossing movie in FOX's X-Men franchise behind Deadpool and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Yes, it made more money worldwide than SIXTEEN total movies combined in the MCU and X-Men franchises......all without a release in China.
Now to be fair, Logan is still in theaters and could theoretically outgross Suicide Squad, but the point remains that the movie made huge bank for the DCEU. Of course, when DCEU fans bring this up the first thing they are told by others is "Money doesn't make a movie good," and that is completely true but not for the reasons they think. Good and bad are completely subjective with movies and it is up to the individual to make their own determination. There is no objective measure for that. The only thing that movies can be objectively judged on with regard to reception is how they perform at the box office, and franchises that make the money that the DCEU has made so far through three movies are nothing but successful, even if it polarizes audiences. Others will also tell you that the franchise needs critical acclaim in addition to box office success in order to remain viable, despite the fact that franchises like The Fast and the Furious and Transformers have earned almost $4 billion apiece in spite of numerous negative reviews and critical panning. This year we have a 5th Transformers movie and an 8th Fast and Furious movie releasing. The bad reviews don't seem to have stopped them, have they?
So then comes the argument that "comic book movies are guaranteed to make money no matter what" so they shouldn't be used as a measure of success. FOX would disagree would that though when it comes to their other comic book franchise, The Fantastic Four:
There's even more examples if we can go back into the late 90's.
The ultimate point here is that the DCEU is a billion-dollar franchise and so long as it continues to make money, there is nothing that any of these haters can say that will change anything. They'll keep telling you that the DCEU is a disaster, a complete flop and should be rebooted from the dumpster fire that it has been to this point, and they'll use every excuse they can find to tell you how "objectively bad" the franchise is, how it can't survive another critical thrashing and needs to be saved at every turn. The truth though, is that DCEU fans can silence all of that noise and make it look like the obsessive whining and crying that it truly is just by continuing to support it and keep it going. That is what will ensure the long-term success of the DCEU, not what critics and bloggers say for clicks.
So if you're a DCEU fan, the next time you get into another argument over the merits of the DCEU with someone that lurks into your Twitter mentions or posts a silly meme on Facebook, remember that no matter what they say, your dollar and the dollars of the other DCEU fans that DO exist on this planet is what will make all of those arguments meaningless and unimportant. Go see Wonder Woman on June 2 and Justice League on November 17. It's about YOUR own opinion of the franchise, not theirs. Period.