Looking Forward: Comic Book Films in 2016

2016 comic book films timeline

Here’s a timeline of comic book films coming in 2016! Two from Marvel/Disney, three from Marvel/Fox, and two from DC! Each are shaping up for the biggest year (yet) for comic book films! There is no doubt they will be dominating the box office in 2016. But who will be the best? Let’s discuss that as well as which I’m looking forward to most along with most looking forward to (new) characters!

I think each of these films have a chance to break the box office. If there is one potential flop it’s Gambit. This film is off to a rocky start. It took awhile for them to get a director on board and Channing Tatum almost dropped out of the film (said to be of budget conflicts). But now that they have a director, their leading star in Tatum (as well as Lea Seydoux as the female lead), what is holding this film back? For one, not much is known at all of the project. There isn’t as much “hype” for it as the other films. A lot of fans don’t want Tatum in the role (and some would prefer Taylor Kitsch reprised his role). Then there is the fact Gambit is largely unknown compared to the rest of the comic book films’ new characters. Doctor Strange is the same but it has potential because it comes from the MCU and has one of the biggest stars now, Benedict Cumberbatch. We’ll see how Gambit’s production, first looks, and trailers go. That will really determine if his solo will succeed.

So who would win the box office out of these 7 films? It really is tough to say. The X-Men have no problems making money, with over 3 billion in (worldwide) box office for the films. Each film has made at least 100 million (North America). There’s no doubt Apocalypse can do that again and I wouldn’t be surprised if it beat Days of Future Past. As for the universe’s first spin-off (that’s not Wolverine), Deadpool is difficult to say. His character has a huge fan base and you can tell people have been dying for his film (the leaked test footage had millions of views before the film was officially announced). But that’s the comic book/Deadpool fans. I’m not sure how much audience he’s pulling outside of it. His film offers something different so he may be able to break the February box office record (held by Fifty Shades of Grey). But Deadpool is also competing against the satirical comedy sequel, Zoolander 2. No doubt there are audiences feeding in the comic book phase of films. But I’m not sure that any of Fox’s 3 Marvel films will take number one in box office in 2016.

The other side of Marvel, the MCU, has been quite successful and making big bucks. Captain America has already 2 films under his belt along with the Avengers films. Plus, his third film features Iron Man and even more MCU heroes. If you didn’t notice, Civil War and Apocalypse are releasing the same month. Between those two, Civil War should win. But can it beat The Avengers’ May record? Quite possibly. As for the MCU’s other film, Doctor Strange, here’s where it gets difficult. Again, because of the star power/fan base of Benedict, you have a number of fans outside the comic book world that’ll be drawn in. This film also deals with the mystical/magical world of the MCU we have yet to see. Will it beat Catching Fire for November box office record? I don’t think it will, honestly. You could consider bringing Strange in is risky, like GOTG and Ant-Man, so it depends on how well they market this film. Strange is not a well-known character as well as it’s universe. I think it has potential to do better than Ant-Man, but we’ll see. In that same month, about a week later, is the Harry Potter spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts, so it’ll be a “magic-off” to see who wins the month. Harry Potter has a huge fan-base and has already begun marketing its film, which Doctor Strange just started doing. I’m giving the November win to Fantastic Beasts, but I still think Strange can do well.

Now for DC. We are finally seeing a new comic book universe that everyone’s been waiting for. Batman v Superman has a ton of weight on its shoulders to take another step into its universe and make it good. Batman v Superman is getting a ton of buzz and I wouldn’t be surprised that it beats the March box office record (held by The Hunger Games). It’s a historical moment – we are finally seeing Batman and Superman on the same screen, and we are finally seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen. Not only that, but with the “Dawn of Justice” part of the title, it amps fans even more of the potentiality of seeing the Justice League form at the end of the film. After all, it’s the next year we see Part 1. As for Suicide Squad, this film has surprisingly been bringing a lot of buzz. It already has a huge fan base, thanks to those Harley Quinn and Joker fans. It could be because it has some big stars in the film, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, and well Batman. But it’s also partly because we have yet to see an all-villain comic book film. It’ll be refreshing in the year of superheroes as we get to see a taste of the bad side. It’s also a great way to introduce some villains of the DC universe. The August box office record is held by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. If they market this film right, it can potentially beat that record. Suicide Squad has only the SDCC first look footage out and it went crazy viral. It leaked online before being officially released (which wasn’t even supposed to happen) and gained millions of views. We will be getting the first official trailer in January and already there’s hype for that.

So who takes the box office? The potentials – Captain America Civil War, Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice, X-Men Apocalypse, and Suicide Squad. In no particular order. I think the 2 that’ll be battling out, and I think many will agree, is Civil War and Batman v Superman. Who do you think will take the box office in 2016?

As for critically, it’s tough to say. Captain America has been one of the better solos of the MCU and since it’s the same people behind Winter Soldier that’s working on Civil War, I think it’ll do fine. As for Doctor Strange, I’m not familiar with the people behind the film. But since it comes from the MCU, it’ll at least do somewhat good. The new X-Men trilogy has been doing well, particularly Days of Future Past. As long as Singer continues doing that, Apocalypse should get a similar result if not better. Deadpool is difficult to say. Fans may love it but I’m worried that making sure Deadpool’s attitude is top-notch/over-the-top (whichever) overshadows the storyline. Hopefully it’ll be fine. It at least seems better than what we got with X-Men Origins. Again, Gambit seems the most in trouble of the 7 CB films. I have no clue if it’ll do well critically. Now for DC, BvS has the same people behind Man of Steel again. But this time, Affleck had Chris Terrio (Argo) brought in to look over the script/re-writes. Judging by the trailers, it looks like that it was a smart move and I think we’ll be seeing something much better than MoS. As for Suicide Squad, David Ayer is directing and writing. His films have been pretty good, particularly End of Watch. It’s hard to say much of the film from the SDCC footage, but it seems to have an interesting storyline. Most notably, Joker’s lines at the end of the footage. Already, it’s one of the most memorable lines of the film. So which of the 7 will win critically? I may have to give this to Civil War, and that’s only because of his past films success. The rest coming out this year don’t really have anything to base on. Apocalypse has potential to do well as well, looking at DoFP. Who do you think will win critically?

Now, a quick review of my top anticipated CB films.

1 – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2 – Suicide Squad, 3 – X-Men: Apocalypse, 4 – Deadpool, 5 – Doctor Strange, 6 – Captain America: Civil War, 7 – Gambit.

For my top anticipated characters, this will not include characters that have already been introduced. So no Superman, no Captain America, no Mystique. Only the new heroes/villains. I really don’t want to list every single one, so this’ll just be a top 10. Let me know your top 10 in the comments!

Special Mentions: Black Panther, Aquaman, Flash, Doomsday, Baron Mordo, Apocalypse, Spider-Man, Deadshot

10 – Katana


I may be biased because I’m half-Japanese but I’m excited to see Katana on the big screen (in Suicide Squad). We saw one live-action version from Arrow’s Rila Fukushima, but I’m excited to Karen Fukuhara’s take. This Katana is hired by Rick Flag as his own personal bodyguard. Her costume looks great/comic accurate and it indeed sounds like her soul-taking sword will be at play. Plus, we haven’t been seeing much female heroes/villains (we’ve really only had Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and recently, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch) and Katana is one great step into bad-ass female heroes/villains.

9 – Enchantress


Speaking of bad-ass villains…I’m surprised myself I had Enchantress on here. I don’t know much of the character at all but what we have been seeing so far is quite interesting. The actress behind the role in Suicide Squad, Cara Delevingne, shared that she thought the female characters in the film had the better story lines. It looks like we’ll be getting quite a story line from her own character as she is quite possibly the central villain of the film. I’m excited to see her take on the character and to see the makings of Enchantress…

8 – Jean Grey/Cyclops/Storm/Nightcrawler/Jubilee/Angel

Young X-men

Is it cheating I put the new/young mutants together? I mean, these guys are likely to lead to a new X-Men trilogy, so why not put them all in one? I’m excited to see how they’ll interact and work together. I am quite familiar with the X-Men and I’m interested in seeing the new generation/take on these characters. Sophie Turner replaces Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan replaces James Marsden as Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp replaces Halle Berry as Storm, Kodi Smit-McPhee replaces Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler, newcomer Lana Candor replaces Katrina Florece/Kea Wong as Jubilee, and Ben Hardy replaces Ben Foster as Angel (or in this film, Archangel?).

7 – Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor

Yes, Batman v Superman’s Lex Luthor. What Jesse Eisenberg has been saying of his character so far seems to be true. We could be looking at a great villain – someone you’d love to hate. Many fans, including myself, did not like the casting of Eisenberg as Luthor. However, myself (and perhaps some of those fans) have seen something not expected in his interpretation. From what we’ve seen so far, Jesse has a great Luthor take coming and I’m excited to see this character completely in Batman v Superman.

6 – Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange
The reason is similar to why the film itself is in my top 10 anticipated movies. We are stepping into the mystical/magical side of the MCU and I’m excited to see Strange do so. I honestly did not want Cumberbatch in the role, however, because I felt that there were other comic book characters he’d be better suited for. But these first looks of him as Strange looks awesome and hopefully it will be!

5 – Harley Quinn

harley quinn

Hey puddin! Yes, the first ever live-action Harley Quinn is in my top 5. Margot Robbie is bringing the role to life in Suicide Squad and what we’ve seen so far does not disappoint. I can’t wait to see the evolution of Dr. Harleen Quinzel to Harley Quinn. It certainly looks like her origin story will be a big part of SS, particularly dealing with the Joker. She’s certainly creating a lot of buzz, partially because of her huge fan base. Robbie looks to be killing it as Harleen/Harley and hopefully won’t disappoint once the film is out.

4 – Deadpool


Technically, we saw a version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins but we/no one likes to talk about that. So I’m calling this the first official time we meet the merc with a mouth. Ryan Reynolds was made for this role. Seriously. I can’t picture anyone else for the chimichanga-loving bad-ass with a bad-mouth playing the role. And so far, it looks like the Deadpool we all know/love.

3 – Joker


This psycho-son-of-a-gun made it in my top 3. Joker isn’t new to comic book film viewers but the DCEU/Jared Leto’s version is. He’s quite different from his predecessors but he doesn’t disappoint. The first look at Leto did have some backlash from the crazy tattoos to the grill (hello, Batman’s fault!). But as soon as SDCC viewers and eventually the rest of the world saw the first footage of Joker in Suicide Squad, everyone changed their mind. He’s creepy as fuck (that Jurassic World meme of him is perfect, no joke even my mother found him creepy af). He looks twisted, dangerous, maniacal, crazy, psychotic…any other adjectives? Anyways, there’s no doubt we’ll be getting an outstanding performance from Jared Leto. Now how will he compare to Heath Ledger’s? We’ll see…

2 – Batman


Are we even surprised the Dark Knight himself would be found in the top two of anticipated new characters? I’m not. I know many people, including myself, were shocked/upset Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman. But from the pictures to the trailer, Affleck has been proving himself to possibly being one of the best Batmans ever. Now we can’t officially say that until we have seen Batman v Superman, but what we’ve seen so far has been quite amazing. Affleck’s performance has supposedly been outstanding as Bruce/Batman and I can’t wait to see his interpretation of the character.

1 – Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

That’s right…Wonder Woman takes the number one spot. Mainly because WW is my favorite superhero. But WW is turning heads as after BvS she already has her first solo film, the first female superhero of Fox/Marvel or the MCU and DC to have a solo film. Like many other castings in the comic book world, Gal Gadot met controversy, particularly because of her size. Gadot is tall enough but many saw her as “too skinny.” But I think Gadot has been proving haters wrong with her being one of the many parts of BvS that is most anticipated. When Star Wars released the latest film, many had the BvS trailer before it and some of the audience took to Twitter to share not only the audiences’ excitement for the film but particularly of Wonder Woman. She is looking bad-ass and from all those rumors flying around, she sounds pretty damn awesome. Although we don’t know Diana’s exact role in BvS, we do get to see her battle Doomsday. What?!

Batman V Superman Wonder Woman


So that’s it for my first ever Looking Forward: CB Films. This is all just my opinion and nothing is fact! Other than these are the films coming out and these are the characters in it…I would love to hear what CB films you think will do well/which will win the year and what are your most anticipated films and characters!

Countdown from Jan. 1 to all planned comic book films


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