I don't know what young comics fan Spencer expected when he wrote in to DC Comics, his favorite publisher, to ask what DC plans to do now that "Marvel seemingly dominates the live action superhero movie industry?" (His words!) But I bet he didn't expect to get an answer that was pretty much just bullshit.
Here's the letter young Spender sent in, courtesy of Reddit:
Here's the letter DC responded with:
Please note the "Our movies by far exceed all of Marvels in sales." This is technically true... if you count all of DC's movies since the first Superman movie, and ignore every single Marvel movie put out by Sony and Fox, so that you're only counting the strict Marvel cinematic universe. Specifically, you must compare Iron Man 1-3, Thor 1 and 2, Avengers, Captain America, and Incredible Hulk (for a total of eight films) to the original four Batman movies, the original four Superman movies, the Dark Knight trilogy, the two most recent Superman films, Green Lantern, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Constantine, Jonah Hex, Red 1 and 2, The Losers, and Catwoman (for a total of 19 films).
If you count the worldwide all 19 of DC's movies over the last 36 years, the total is $6.3 billion. If you count all eight of the movies Marvel themselves have made, none of the one made by other studios such as Fox or Sony, over the past six years, Marvel's worldwide box office is $5.6 billion. DC "wins" in this regard.
But if you, say, add the Spider-Man movies, the X-Men movies, the Fantastic Four movies, the Blade stuff — you know, the actual total of all the Marvel movies, as DC's letter was clearly implying they were doing, Marvel's earned over $13 billion, more than double DC's complete box office since Superman premiered in 1978.
So yes, if you pull some Obi-Wan Kenobi "from a certain point of view" bullshit and minimize Marvel's oeuvre to their own self-produced movies, and stack them up against DC's total cinematic output from the beginning of time, then yes, DC's movies are "bigger" than Marvel's.... barely. If you count "all of Marvels" movies, as the letter says verbatim, then no, DC's do not exceed Marvel's in sales. (Also, even in a more nebulous metric of pop culture awareness, Marvel Studios has released eight movies since 2008, not counting any X-Men or Spider-Man films, while DC has also released eight... counting both Red movies, Jonah Hex and The Losers. I'm gonna give the advantage to Marvel there, too.)
I'm not even mad any more, I'm just amused. It's so super-nice for DC to take the time to write this kid back, and this should be nothing more than heart-warming tale of a monolithic company reaching out to its young fans to show they care. It should be a nice warm fuzzy for DC. Instead, they take the time to "prove to" this kid that Marvel isn't kicking their ass with some easily disprovable claims, and now it's just another sterling examples of DC going out of its way to look both incompetent and vaguely evil. I'm almost starting to feel sorry for them at this point.