Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), left, and Ben Affleck (Batman) in a scene from "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP
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"Batman v Superman" may be a massive movie – a $250 million globe-trotting blockbuster with a pulverizing marketing assault – but it's just the opening salvo of a much larger campaign to restore DC Comics to prominence in Marvel-dominated multiplexes."Batman v Superman" is meant to trigger a new world order for Warner Bros. and DC Comics. The studio home to DC characters since 1969, Warner Bros. was once the leader in bringing superheroes to the big screen – from Christopher Reeve's Superman movies to Tim Burton's Batman movies to Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy. Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman" is the first of 10 films Warner Bros. and DC planned for the next five years. It's the first film to bring DC characters into a single "extended universe," an approach modeled on Marvel's "Avengers"-centered success. Warner Bros.' dominance has slid recently (it ranked third among studios in market share the last two years), while Marvel Studios, paired with the Walt Disney Co., has proven one of the most lucrative and reliable juggernauts in an otherwise unpredictable media landscape.The two directors (Nolan is an executive producer on "Batman v Superman") have mapped out a darker, grimmer and more political tone for DC superheroes in contrast to the largely comic, family-friendly Marvel releases.
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