Welcome back to Round 2 of the DC Comics Movie Tournament. With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coming out at the end of the week it’s fitting that twelve of the sixteen films making it to Round 2 star either the Dark Knight or the Man of Steel. All seven of the Batman films advanced along with five of the six Superman films. The only loss for Superman came with Superman III losing to Batman Forever (bat-nipples and all). Man of Steel has a chance to earn revenge with its upcoming match-up against Batman Begins. Each of this weekend’s stars will lose at least one more film in this round with two Batman vs Batman match-ups (The Dark Knight vs Batman Forever and Batman & Robin vs The Dark Knight Rises) and one Superman vs Superman (Superman (facing Superman IV: The Quest for Peace).
The rest of the field dropped from eleven films down to just four. Along the way we’ve lost Green Lantern, Catwoman, Supergirl, both Swamp Thing movies, Jonah Hex, and Steel. These “Other” films (it’s an unfair category but it certainly makes things easier) ended up faring so poorly that only three actually won a match (V for Vendetta had a bye) and none of them beat a Batman or Superman film (The Losers beat Jonah Hex, Watchmen beat Steel, and Constantine beat Green Lantern). Now all four remaining Other films face either a Batman or Superman flick, meaning we may very likely see an Elite 8 starring only two title characters.
This lopsidedness points to a few things. First is probably bad seeding by me. But more importantly, it highlights how rough the DC films have had it over the years. Last week I highlighted the difficulties I had in seeding this tournament due to the overall lackluster list of films. Comparing the list to the Marvel films makes DC’s issues even more apparent as three studios churning out mostly decent films. Sure every once in a while we get a Fantastic Four or Spider-Man 3 but most of the franchises are chugging along nicely.
Maybe Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will give the DC films a fresh beginning. Many moviegoers have already started to hit “superhero movie fatigue” but a re-energized DC universe might help that more than hurt. That would definitely maintain the momentum started by Deadpool in keeping the genre fresh. Or maybe not. Maybe rehashing the oldest of oldschool comic heroes will only exacerbate this fatigue. Who knows. That’s probably an unfair amount of pressure to put on one movie. All I’m hoping for this weekend is a fun flick (but I’ll take a genre-saving one).
(1) The Dark Knight (facing Batman Forever)
(2) Batman Begins
(2) Batman Returns
(2) The Dark Knight Rises (facing Batman & Robin)
(6) Batman & Robin (facing The Dark Knight Rises)
(4) Batman Forever (facing The Dark Knight)
(1) Superman II
(1) Superman (facing Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)
(3) Superman Returns
(3) Man of Steel
(5) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (facing Superman)