Marvel and DC both have demonstrated insanely high output of theatrical releases in recent years, and 2023 will be no exception, with seven movies coming between the two - on top of five Disney+ series from the MCU. The upcoming year will be packed with sequels for iconic heroes, debut flicks for popular characters, and long-awaited ensemble events.
Despite having spent years trying to catch up to the MCU, DC has continually struggled to live up to its comic book competition when it comes to interest, awareness, and box office success. These areas are all tracked within both Disney and Warner Bros. in the run-up to releases in order to properly target their marketing campaigns.
Now, a third-party study has revealed new data to the public that offers a gauge of what movies audiences are most anticipating in the year ahead, including going into the final months of 2022 and the few releases that remain.
What DC & Marvel Movies are the Most Anticipated
The Quorum published its latest survey data which reveals the eight most anticipated movies from Marvel and DC that will be coming out in the near future - six of which will fall in 2023. The data analysis organization is a pre-release film tracking outlet that surveys 2000 people weekly to determine their awareness and interest in upcoming movie releases.
Those surveyed were first asked, "How interested are you in this film?" leading to a ranking of the six most anticipated 2023 releases. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 led that ranking, while Shazam! Fury of the Gods fell at the bottom:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - 6.9
- The Marvels - 6.2
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom - 6.1
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - 6.0
- The Flash - 5.8
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods - 5.4
Data also revealed the ranking of the theatrical releases based on awareness as people were asked, "Are you aware of this film?" Based on the percentages of those who know these movies exist, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 once again placed highest, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania bottoming out :
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - 55%
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom - 53%
- The Marvels - 48%
- The Flash - 40%
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods - 37%
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - 35%
Blade has notably yet to be added to The Quorum's data tracking ahead of its November 2023 release. With The Marvels having just been included 11 months before release, data with regard to Mahershala Ali's MCU debut ought to come toward the end of the year.
The Quorum's study also included the movies placed to come out in the rest of 2022 - Black Adam and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Looking at the interest ranking with those included, the Wakandan sequel placed second at 6.8, with Dwayne Johnson's DC epic falling in sixth at 5.9.
Studying the awareness of these two projects, Black Panther 2 stood atop the charts with 61% being aware of the sequel, while Black Adam placed fifth with only 46%.
What Will Be the Biggest Superhero Movie of 2023?
Looking at this study, there are clear winners and losers from this data, with some movies placed to struggle. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is placed to be the smash-hit of 2023 by all accounts, as it fell far ahead of the competition in both metrics, proving that interest in the threequel is high despite coming six years after the last entry and having had no marketing yet.
Both Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Marvels are placed for immense success, unsurprisingly, as they both follow up on billion-dollar solo blockbusters. What's crazy to see is both exceeding Ant-Man 3 on each list, despite that film releasing before both in February - although that may change when the marketing campaign begins with Jonathon Majors' Kang at the center of it.
Meanwhile, DC may be in trouble with Shazam! Fury of the Gods, as both interest and awareness appears to be low, even following the release of its first trailer. If data was tracking similarly behind the scenes at Warner Bros. that may have influenced the recent move from December 2022 to March 2023 in order to raise interest.
Black Adam notably falls far lower on both the awareness and interest ranking than it should for a superhero epic that is only two months away, especially as many of the movies above it have yet to even begin marketing. On a more positive note for 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever appears well-placed to be yet another hit for the MCU, with both awareness and interest being sky-high.
Marvel Studios looks comfortably placed to dominate the fall superhero season, but DC may still have work to do in order to raise audience excitement for Black Adam. After all, a comic book blockbuster starring The Rock should be an easy key to success, although things don't appear to be heading that way.
Nonetheless, as has long been the case with the superhero genre, all of these movies will likely prove to be at least moderately successful, churning out heavy profits in relation to the rest of the movie industry. But some will undoubtedly end up performing far better than others as they arrive in theaters over the next 16 months, provided further delays can be avoided.