This Rotten Week: Predicting Ad Astra, Rambo: Last Blood, And Downtown Abbey Reviews

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

There’s always a place on the big screen for an epic space odyssey and that very much looks like what we’re getting from Ad Astra. It’s a story about an astronaut (Brad Pitt) going on a mission in space to find his father (Tommy Lee Jones) and stop him from utilizing a technology that is threatening life in the universe. It simultaneously looks like a psychological thriller and wide-ranging sci-fi movie all wrapped into one. And critics are loving it.

From director James Gray (The Lost City of Z – 86%, We Own The Night – 57%), Ad Astra is currently sitting at 84% with 44 reviews posted. Most are praising all aspects of the movie from the visuals, to the tone, to Brad Pitt’s acting. It’s logically (at least from the scope) drawing comparisons to Interstellar (72%), and I think ultimately it falls right in that range.

Sylvester Stallone and my father are both 73 years old. My dad is retired and mostly just reads books on his Kindle these days. Stallone? He’s about to reprise one of his most iconic roles as a savage soldier who fights for those marginalized or just flat out in trouble. Oh, and he does it with the use of basically every weapon in the killer elite pack: machine guns, bow and arrows, knives, explosives. They’re all there at his disposal in Rambo: Last Blood.

This time he’s up against the Mexican cartel, who almost certainly didn’t know what they were getting into when they took Rambo’s niece hostage. It sure looks like they’ll come to regret that decision. This is the fifth, and likely final, installment in the Rambo franchise, and it looks like they are going out with a bang. I can’t imagine critics love it, but I don’t suspect that’s really the point.

While we’ve seen many examples of television shows turned into movies, or movies turned into television shows, it isn’t often we get those versions with the original casts. Entourage did it with not so great results disaster, and Breaking Bad has an offshoot coming soon with Jesse Pinkman. But recently there aren’t too many other examples. Now we have a new addition to that list

Downton Abbey finished its six season on PBS in 2015, but the story continues on in movie form this weekend. Set in 1927, it takes place two years after the series finale and focuses on a visit from the King and Queen of England to the Downton Abbey estate. Director Michael Engler helmed four Downton Abbey episodes including the finale. Early opinions are very strong with the Tomatometer sitting at 80% through 55 reviews. Critics appreciate the carryover and most seem to think it’s a worthy follow up to the award-winning show.

It’s mea culpa time in the recap. Last week I had some pretty bad reads on both Hustlers (Predicted: 85% Actual: 87%) and The Goldfinch (Predicted: 45% Actual: 25%) before editor Eric Eisenberg stepped in and saved the day letting me know that after the reviews embargoes had lifted my original thoughts on each were wrong. He graciously allowed me to not completely screw the pooch and helped tick both scores closer to reality. I’ll take a firm “L” on each movie even though the published predictions ended up much closer to the final scores.

Critics really took to Hustlers, embracing crime story and scheme following a group of strippers taking advantage of their Wall Street clientele. While professionals seemed to love nearly every aspect of the film, Jennifer Lopez’s performance stands out as the most talked-about.

Meanwhile, The Goldfinch wasn’t able to capitalize on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel’s material. Critics saw it as an epic missed opportunity, citing a confusing and overdone narrative that wasn’t in any way able to capture the artistic ideals of Donna Tartt’s book. This lands as a massive disappointment.

Next time we’ve got Abominable. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!

New MCU Rumors About Professor X and Magneto Have Marvel Fans Worked Up

Now, there’s a rumor that the Marvel Cinematic Universe may portray the two most important X-Men characters, Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), as people of color.

Full Circle Cinema recently drew upon Kevin Feige’s comments about diversity and reported that, according to a source, Marvel may cast people of color as Professor X and Magneto. Predictably, longtime fans of the characters are divided on the consideration. Many took to Twitter to voice their approval (or disapproval) of the possibility. We will start with some of the positive reactions:

Eric B.’s comment is particularly interesting (and more than a bit insightful) and is backed by solid logic. I won’t get into it any further, but he brings up good points.

Others have not been as open to the idea. Here are some…uh, less positive reactions:

Obviously, this is going to get interesting. With the fiery feelings which drive the Marvel vs. DC conflict reignited, there are a great many comic books fans who are super worked up and probably won’t take kindly to any kind of shake-up (even if an actor such as Denzel Washington has been rumored to be eyed for Magneto).

Fans were first spoiled by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, each of whom turned in incredible performances as the two characters we’re discussing. Years later, X-Men: First Class introduced us to younger versions of Xavier and Lehnsherr (portrayed by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively). These two actors also treated fans to incredibly nuanced portrayals bolstered by the enthusiasm and charisma both brought to the role. I will miss them, but I trust that they are in good hands over at Disney. It will be exciting to see what Feige and company do with these two iconic characters.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this is a good idea? A bad one? Or are you indifferent? I miss Stewart, McKellen, McAvoy, and Fassbender but I’m also open to any change the MCU makes. It’s not that they can’t do wrong. It’s that they’ve done too much too well for me to doubt them without very good reasons.

Sound off in the comments below, but please be civil and respectful. And in the meantime, get excited about what’s hitting theaters later this year!

When James Gunn Plans To Reveal The Suicide Squad’s New Characters

Earlier this week, James Gunn finally confirmed who will be in The Suicide Squad. It’s a pretty long list of names. Which characters are they playing? Aha! Different story … that you’ll have to wait to hear. Is Gunn enjoying these power moves? I would imagine so. Hey, it’s his movie. His rules. I’m game to play along for the next [checks calendar] two years?

James Gunn took a break from social media after the whole Disney/Guardians 3 mess, but he’s back now and still answers questions from time to time. One fan was “blown away” by Gunn’s cast list for The Suicide Squad and asked when we’d get specifics on the new stars’ roles. The writer/director replied in two parts:

The Suicide Squad will be filming soon, and set leaks will probably come out about various characters. Since there are so many people in the movie, some stars may speak freely on their characters without fear of upsetting the DC Powers That Be. Others may stay secret until maybe even the first screening? We’ll see.

Interesting that some character reports have been “very wrong.” We already saw that Michael Rooker appeared to shoot down the report claiming he’d play King Shark. He’s on the new cast list, though, so he’s in the movie, it’s just a matter of who he is playing. It later came out that comedian Steve Agee would be voicing King Shark in The Suicide Squad. But that was from another reputable source report, not straight from James Gunn or Warner Bros.

For all we know, Pete Davidson — who, yes, somehow is in this movie — will really play King Shark. Or heck, maybe that’s how they’ll squeeze Jared Leto into this movie to make his fans happy. Gunn has only confirmed what he posted the other day with a bunch of names.

It’s been reported that David Dastmalchian will play Polka-Dot Man, with Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher. Storm Reid is said to play the daughter of Idris Elba’s character. John Cena is rumored to play Peacemaker, but the point is that we might not know for sure for a long time.

There was chatter at one point about Benicio Del Toro being in talks for The Suicide Squad, but I don’t see his name on James Gunn’s list. Maybe more names are coming, beyond this core 24? Gunn also warned “Don’t get too attached” and there’s a part of me that wonders if a bait-and-switch is ahead. I could just be in my head too much on that, though.

The Suicide Squad is currently scheduled to open in theaters on August 6, 2021.

IT Chapter Two Box Office: Pennywise Defeats Hustlers For A Second Weekend Victory

Richie and Bill in the sewer in IT Chapter Two

In its opening weekend, Andy Muschietti’s IT Chapter Two was most certainly a box office hit – but it also notably didn’t do quite as well as its predecessor. While the movie was able to make $91.1 million in just three days, which would be a massive thing for most features, it just didn’t look quite as good when compared to the $123.4 million that 2017’s IT pulled in. Now, interestingly, we have a sequel to that exact situation. The new release dropped a little over 55 percent from last week to this week, which is pretty solid, but doesn’t look so hot when you note that the original only went down a little over 51 percent.

Check out the numbers for IT Chapter Two, as well as the rest of the Top 10, below, and join me after for analysis!

IT Chapter Two Box Office Weekend Box Office
1. IT Chapter Two

$40,735,000 Total: $153,803,524

LW: 1

THTRS: 4,570

2. Hustlers*

$33,230,000 Total: $33,230,000

LW: N

THTRS: 3,250

3. Angel Has Fallen

$4,400,000 Total: $60,380,418

LW: 2

THTRS: 3,076

4. Good Boys

$4,260,000 Total: $73,316,735

LW: 3

THTRS: 2,736

5. The Lion King

$3,555,000 Total: $533,992,775

LW: 4

THTRS: 2,365

6. Hobbs & Shaw

$2,770,000 Total: $168,317,320

LW: 5

THTRS: 2,050

7. Overcomer $2,735,000 Total: $28,987,768

LW: 6

THTRS: 2,293

8. The Goldfinch*

$2,640,000 Total: $2,640,000

LW: N

THTRS: 2,542

9. The Peanut Butter Falcon

$1,921,127 Total: $15,043,769

LW: 11

THTRS: 1,490

10. Dora And The Lost City Of Gold

$1,850,000 Total: $56,743,567

LW: 7

THTRS: 1,348

At this stage in the game it’s clear that IT Chapter Two won’t be making more at the box office than Chapter One, which became the biggest horror hit of all time when it made over $700 million, but it is still performing very well, and is on track to ultimately rank as one of the biggest blockbusters of 2019. The movie is actually only the 20th release this year to cross $100 million domestically, and on the chart it is already ranked at number 12 – edging ahead of Rob Letterman’s Detective Pikachu, David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

It will almost certainly ascend to at least seventh place, which Jordan Peele’s Us currently occupies with $175 million in North American ticket sales… but that may be where it stops. There is actually a huge gap between sixth and seventh place right now in the rankings, and it will be a challenge for Andy Muschietti’s film to usurp that spot, as it right now belongs to Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin and its $355 million.

The new horror blockbuster also continues to make a lot of money abroad. Last week I noted that the global total came from figures that were very evenly split in terms of domestic and foreign contributions, and that continues to be the case. In fact, the percentages are now even closer than they were. Just north of 52 percent of all ticket sales have from from countries outside of North America, adding $169.5 million into the pot. This means that to date IT Chapter Two has made $323.3 million internationally, which means that in just 14 days it has already made more that the $321.7 million that Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum earned throughout the summer season.

As we get deeper into September, one thing we will be keeping a very close eye on is how IT and IT Chapter Two continue to rank as a horror franchise in box office history. As things stand, The Conjuring Universe has made more money than any scary movie series ever, accumulating $1,915,987,771 at the global box office, and that’s probably out of reach for the Stephen King adaptations. The same is probably true for Alien, which, without adjusting for inflation, has made just north of $1.5 billion over the last 40 years. Still, Andy Muschietti’s movies are creeping towards third place, having thus far made $1,023,685,272 compared to the $1,233,214,830 made by the six Resident Evil releases.

Bill giving a speech to the Losers Club in IT Chapter Two

Of course, there was no question that IT Chapter Two would rule the box office once again this weekend. What wasn’t clear was exactly how its success would wind up impacting the pair of newcomers that arrived in wide release. As it turns out, we actually had kind of a strange last three days at the box office. It turns out that one of the new releases did exceptionally well compared to estimates, and the other did really horribly.

To start with the good news, Lorene Scafaria Hustlers was a huge surprise when it made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, the conversation around it it changing from “ok-looking crime story” to “Wow, this is shockingly good.” Many reviews of the movie were effusive, and it led to a bump in box office expectations, with prognosticators saying mid-week that the release would probably land somewhere in the $25 to $30 million range. While this wasn’t exactly super far off, it’s still notable that the stripper-centric title made 10 percent more than the high-end estimations.

It’s definitely a solid win for STX Entertainment, which has had a very up and down year. They started 2019 off great with Neil Burger’s $100 million January hit The Upside, but things very much went downhill from there because of bombs like Kelly Asbury’s UglyDolls and Zara Hayes’ Poms. This is a nice comeback for them, and it should continue to do well in the next few weeks as buzz spreads.

The talk surrounding John Crowley’s The Goldfinch unfortunately isn’t nearly as positive. As we started preparing for the fall season it very much looked like the movie was going to be Warner Bros. big award season contender – but that idea has been slowly falling apart in the last few weeks. Like Hustlers, it too premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it didn’t get anywhere near the same kind of response. Now the box office has added insult to injury, as the adaptation of the hit novel (which reportedly cost $45 million to make) only barely made it into the Top 10 this week with a pull of just $2.6 million. To put that in perspective, it’s the sixth worst opening of all time for a feature playing in more than 2,500 theaters. Yikes.

It always seemed a bit weird that Warner Bros. would release two big movies two weeks in a row with IT Chapter Two and The Goldfinch, but now it’s all making a bit more sense. The success of one is going to ultimately disguise the failings of the other.

We’ll have to wait until next Sunday to see if The Goldfinch is able to remain in the Top 10 – and it might be a challenge given what’s soon heading to theaters. On Friday folks around the world will be able to see Adrian Grunberg’s Rambo: Last Blood, Michael Engler’s Downton Abbey, and James Gray’s Ad Astra. Be sure to check out our column to see what happens!

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When James Gunn Plans To Reveal The Suicide Squad Characters

Earlier this week, James Gunn finally confirmed who will be in The Suicide Squad. It’s a pretty long list of names. Which characters are they playing? Aha! Different story … that you’ll have to wait to hear. Is Gunn enjoying these power moves? I would imagine so. Hey, it’s his movie. His rules. I’m game to play along for the next [checks calendar] two years?

James Gunn took a break from social media after the whole Disney/Guardians 3 mess, but he’s back now and still answers questions from time to time. One fan was “blown away” by Gunn’s cast list for The Suicide Squad and asked when we’d get specifics on the new stars’ roles. The writer/director replied in two parts:

The Suicide Squad will be filming soon, and set leaks will probably come out about various characters. Since there are so many people in the movie, some stars may speak freely on their characters without fear of upsetting the DC Powers That Be. Others may stay secret until maybe even the first screening? We’ll see.

Interesting that some character reports have been “very wrong.” We already saw that Michael Rooker appeared to shoot down the report claiming he’d play King Shark. He’s on the new cast list, though, so he’s in the movie, it’s just a matter of who he is playing. It later came out that comedian Steve Agee would be voicing King Shark in The Suicide Squad. But that was from another reputable source report, not straight from James Gunn or Warner Bros.

For all we know, Pete Davidson — who, yes, somehow is in this movie — will really play King Shark. Or heck, maybe that’s how they’ll squeeze Jared Leto into this movie to make his fans happy. Gunn has only confirmed what he posted the other day with a bunch of names.

It’s been reported that David Dastmalchian will play Polka-Dot Man, with Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher. Storm Reid is said to play the daughter of Idris Elba’s character. John Cena is rumored to play Peacemaker, but the point is that we might not know for sure for a long time.

There was chatter at one point about Benicio Del Toro being in talks for The Suicide Squad, but I don’t see his name on James Gunn’s list. Maybe more names are coming, beyond this core 24? Gunn also warned “Don’t get too attached” and there’s a part of me that wonders if a bait-and-switch is ahead. I could just be in my head too much on that, though.

The Suicide Squad is currently scheduled to open in theaters on August 6, 2021.

One Major Haunted House That Halloween Horror Nights Never Expected To Build

As any Horror fan worth their weight in blood will tell you, we’re quickly approaching that time of the year when thrills and chills are in high-demand. Some like to get their fill in the theater or simply stream the scares, while others like to take a more live-action approach. That’s where Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights comes in with both well-known properties and original-themed haunted houses and events.

Recently, CinemaBlend was invited to tour Universal’s annual event in Orlando, Florida on their “R.I.P. Tour.” The tour consists of ten haunted houses, five scare zones, and two live shows. Six of the haunted houses are inspired by popular Horror properties, including Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, House of 1000 Corpses, Universal Monsters, Killer Klowns From Outerspace, and Jordan Peele’s 2019 blockbuster hit, Us.

But much like the unpredicted success of the film and the obstacles it had to overcome, the haunted house itself was also an unanticipated addition that blindsided organizers. And while the movie itself could have been very different due to tough casting decisions and actors feeling the daunting pressure of the film, the Us haunted house almost didn’t happen altogether, according to Lora Sauls, Manager of Entertainment Creative Development. As she explained:

It appears the lengthy planning process of Halloween Horror Nights on top of the unpredictability of the box office almost had this haunted house dead on arrival. But luckily the team was able to pull it off in time and still managed to include an insane amount of iconic scenes from the film. The even managed to capture the mood from the ending and disturbing imagery that should make Jordan Peele proud. As Lora went on:

After going through all ten haunted houses ourselves this year, we can assure you that both casual and avid fans of these popular franchises alike will appreciate the painstaking detail that went into setting up tons of classic scenes and easter eggs found in the above properties. We won’t spoil any twist endings but be warned, the end of the Us house, in particular, is one of the most unsettling of the bunch.

The future for Jordan Peele and by extension the Horror genre is looking very bright (dark?), with his Candyman reboot set to hit theaters next summer. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see Keegan-Michael Key show up in one of his future films. Halloween Horror Nights is now open select nights between September 6th and November 2nd. In the meantime, head on over to our premiere guide to check out what’s left to look forward to for the rest of 2019.

Ouch, The Goldfinch Just Had One Of The Worst Openings Ever

One of this weekend’s new releases bombed hard at the box office. It wasn’t Hustlers, that’s for sure, since Jennifer Lopez’s strippers just cleaned up in a strong opening. No, it was the highbrow movie The Goldfinch, which just had one of the worst openings ever.

The Goldfinch did not have a limited release, it opened wide on 2,542 screens. With only a weekend estimate of $2,640,000, that makes it the sixth worst opening for any movie debuting on over 2,500 screens, per Box Office Mojo.

That’s not only bad for The Goldfinch team — including Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios — it’s more evidence of this tough marketplace for dramas. You need more than just impressive, popular names like Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Finn Wolfhard, Ansel Elgort, and Jeffrey Wright. For that kind of movie — a move that’s also rated R and 2.5 hours long — you also need rave reviews and strong word-of-mouth buzz. The Goldfinch had the opposite.

The Goldfinch was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2013 novel by Donna Tartt. It premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, just before its wide release, and that may have been a mistake. The film got bad reviews, but not the kind of bad reviews that make you curious to see it. More bad/boring/stay away reviews. The Goldfinch currently has a 25% rating from 110 critics on Rotten Tomatoes — which is even lower than we predicted last week — and a Metascore of 41 from 36 Metacritics.

The movie actually has a 74% fresh RT audience score from 284 users, so that’s one positive note. The Goldfinch got a B CinemaScore from moviegoers polled on opening night, which isn’t bad, it’s more of a shrug. So far, only 932 users have scored the movie on IMDb, and it’s averaging a 6.3 out of 10.

The Goldfinch was previously projected to open to around $5M-$8M, but when it seriously underperformed on its first day, estimates dropped below $3 million. The movie debuted at #8 on the September 13-15 weekend box office chart, with a per-screen average of $1,039. Compare that to Hustlers, which opened to $33.2 million on 3,250 screens for a per-screen average of $10,225.

Since almost no one saw The Goldfinch this weekend, it’s not surprising that it has so few user reviews. It does seem like the kind of movie that premieres on streamers these days, whether Netflix or Amazon. I don’t say that as an insult, just as a reflection of how expensive it is to market a film in theaters vs. how easy to get comfy and watch at home.

What does this mean for art-house dramas in the future? Well, studios may think twice before going from a film festival opening to a very wide release. That was a risky move to begin with, but I do think WB and Amazon Studios deserve credit for backing a smaller drama like this. The book was amazing, it was a risk to adapt it, but I hope it doesn’t send the message that people don’t care about dramas. Not the case. They just want good stories told well in a visual medium. The Goldfinch needed to be great to survive in this market.

One Avengers: Endgame Character That Surprisingly Needed No CGI

Jen Underdahl, Visual Effects Producer for Marvel Entertainment, had a great video interview with WIRED explaining so many of the VFX work for Endgame. At one point, she noted that the rat who activated Ant-Man’s device and freed him from the Quantum Realm was real.

You. Don’t. Have. His Name?! How are you even sure he is a he? The true tragedy of Endgame, beyond the major character deaths, is that no one has fully credited this rat. The rat didn’t get an on-screen name — unlike, say, Goose in Captain Marvel — or apparently an off-screen name for the credits. A scandal. It deserved at least a small part of Robert Downey Jr.’s gigantic salary.

Anyway, visual effects producer Jen Underdahl said there was a bet between the VFX supervisor and a line producer about the rat. The line producer thought they’d have to replace the rat, but the VFX supervisor was sure they could find a rat who was trained and who could “behave” and do it. Sure enough, they found the right rat. A nameless hero for our time to join the many other underappreciated rats of the world. (Interestingly enough, about 80% of Goose’s shots in Captain Marvel had to be done through CGI because cats are … well … cats. Except when they’re Flerkens.)

Check out WIRED‘s full visual effects video, it’s pretty cool:

It really is interesting to learn why visual effects are sometimes needed to show seemingly simple things whereas a real-life rat could be trained to save humanity. At least fans have shown the rat the respect he/she deserves, creating posters and other tributes:

That rat should return in future MCU movies, team up with Thor, and be called some new version of Sweet Rabbit. Maybe he’d actually see the rat as a raccoon.

Also, not sure if you knew, but Hope van Dyne’s missing cat almost had a role in all of this too. Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s co-writers previously shared a story about that movie almost including a line about Hope losing her cat, because Marvel was going to set up something to continue into Endgame. So the writers figured Hope’s cat was going to be the one to do the rat’s job and free Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm, or something. However, after a couple of months, the Ant-Man and the Wasp writers were told to never mind about the cat line, ’cause Endgame was going in another direction.

I do feel like the MCU could set up an entire team of animal/animal-esque Avengers, led by Rocket and Goose, but also this rat, Hope’s cat, and more. $1.5 billion at the box office, easy.

Star Wars: A New Hope’s Most Infamous Mistake Has Gotten Its Own Documentary

In the decades since Star Wars: A New Hope first wowed the world, fans have dedicated plenty of time to not only speculating about forthcoming installments, but also to revisiting the original. Someone even went that extra mile and re-edited Obi-Wan’s fateful duel with Darth Vader. And that’s just one of the many ways fans have paid their respects to this incredibly influential film. A New Hope stands as one of the most culturally and technologically significant films ever made, so different deconstructions and frequent “aha!” moments come with the territory. And there’s plenty to notice and pick apart.

For example, who famously hit his head on a Death Star door, inadvertently creating one of the biggest “mysteries” of the Star Wars saga? Well, one writer is after the truth, and he made a documentary about his quest for answers.

In his new documentary The Empire Strikes Door, writer, podcaster, and YouTuber Jamie Stangroom interviews different actors who claim to have been the one who made the mistake. And, to tie it in with the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Stangroom hilariously parodied the “this is it” feel of the aforementioned film’s trailer. It’s all incredibly well-made, and it will be interesting to see how Stangroom and his intrepid crew reach the truth (which they undoubtedly will). In the meantime, you can check out the documentary’s official trailer below! Spoiler alert: it’s an absolute delight and is already generating quite a bit of positive buzz.

Stangroom’s work has appeared on starwars.com, BBC 5 Live, Comedy Central, and AMC. Tons of his material focuses around Star Wars, but The Empire Strikes Door may be his most ambitious project yet. If the newly-released trailer indicates anything, it’s that he is absolutely the perfect person to tackle such a project.

The Empire Strikes Door hits the internet on September 25, just three months before The Rise of Skywalker is scheduled to take the world by storm. Did you like what you saw? I had no idea that people debated who was actually in the suit so I will definitely be catching this one. It’s a harmless project that looks fun, funny, and informative. What’s not to love?

But what do you think? Do you think Jamie Stangroom is going to do a solid job of making us care about his discovery? Will you be watching this documentary or could you not care less? Sound off in the comments section below and remember to acquaint yourself with the biggest releases of 2019! The year may be nearing its end, but there are still some great films on the horizon. Check them out, and keep your eyes on CinemaBlend’s newsfeed for more movie and television goodness.

Thanos Vs. Darkseid: Does Marvel Or DC Have The Ultimate Supervillain?

Thanos - Avengers: Infinity War

The conversation surrounding Marvel vs. DC will never end. There will always be fans in one corner over the other, and it’s futile to assume that there will ever be some resolution. There’s no denying that some days (and more often than not these days…), Marvel is on top of the food chain. And some times, DC gets its due. Nevertheless, one of the biggest questions to arise between the endless battle between Marvel and DC is, which comic book company has the better supervillain: Thanos (Marvel) or Darkseid (DC)? It is a mighty big decision that shouldn’t be made lightly by fans.

Each character will have their own vocal supporters in this debate. We’re not here to pick a side necessarily. Rather, we’re going to weigh our options and see which character stands out the most, based on their lineage and their history on the page and screen. You’re free to disagree, of course, but let’s take this opportunity to look at the characters and see if we can determine which supervillain is stronger.

Thanos - Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos

Making his debut on the page back in 1973, Thanos quickly became one of the most powerful and daunting supervillains in Marvel’s storied history. A character known for his many battles with The Avengers, as well as his tussles with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four on different occasions, Thanos was certainly not in the game to make friends. Rather, he was always looking to settle scores and end lives. Indeed, the character was so attracted to death, Thanos literally formed a relationship with none other than Mistress Death, an obviously deeply morbid character.

Ever since he was created by Jim Starlin, Thanos has had a looming presence throughout the decades. He was celebrated for his intellect and idealism before he became a Mad Titan, before he used his powers for great evil and became a menace that our heroes must defeat. Over the years, Thanos was a worthy foe, but he wasn’t someone who couldn’t be defeated. It wasn’t until The Infinity Gauntlet event, however, that Thanos became the ruthless, hard-fought villain many audience members are familiar with thanks to the newest Avengers movies we’ve seen.

From there, Thanos was one of the most powerful and destructive figures in Marvel’s history, providing our characters with an opponent that couldn’t be defeated through simple measures. It took a great many battles to defeat Thanos, but the character was often resurrected (ironically) by Death, his mistress, who allowed him to live and kill again, in a cycle often seen. As he is portrayed in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Thanos’ fears of overpopulation and growing instability makes him believe the galaxy will evaporate its resources and soon suffer the consequences.

The goal for Thanos, therefore, is to gather up the Infinity Stones under his possession and wipe out half of the universe, producing a balance that he believes will restore justice. Like many great villains, it’s logic that has a rationality at its base level, but it’s very apparent that his grand plans are evil.

Darkseid DC Comics

Darkseid

Created by Jack Kirby, Darkseid is widely considered one of the most power being in the galaxy, from a race known as New Gods. His ultimate goal is one of grave terror and widespread destruction. More specifically, he wants to conquer the universe, but he isn’t simply satisfied with that. No, he also wants to eliminate all free will and sentient beings. So, it is safe to say that Darkseid is not someone you’d want to invite to your housewarming party.

Throughout his run in the comics, Darkseid has served primarily as a foe for Superman. Which makes a good deal of sense, since only a super-being like Superman would ultimately be capable of defending such a devastating opponent. But the character has also been an archenemy for the Justice League, quickly proving to be one of the toughest, most distinctive oppositions for the superhero group in their efforts to save and protect.

While Darksheid hasn’t made his way onto the silver screen the same way Thanos has so memorably in the past two years, he’d certainly make a big impression if the transition ever came to be. His powers include, but aren’t limited to, flight, super-strength, immorality, teleportation, telepathy, energy and matter manipulation, telekinesis, omega powers, genius-level tactician and super-speed, to only name a few. So, Darkseid is certainly one tough cookie to crack. But how does he compare to Thanos? That’s the question, certainly. Because as we noted earlier, it wouldn’t be an easy fight.

Thanos - Avengers: Endgame

Thanos Vs. Darkseid

There will likely not be a day where these two titans go to combat outside of fan fiction. So, we’ll never know for certain who would be victorious in this battle. Based on what we can glean from their respective material, however, we can come to some sort of conclusion. In terms of experience, though, Darkseid certainly outshines Thanos. The supervillain is believed to be anywhere near several hundred thousand to a billion years old, and he has shown few signs of slowing down over the years. And Darkseid certainly hasn’t wasted those years, building up information on warmongering, sadism and other illicit activities that propel his wickedness. Darkseid is a supervillain who has conquered many and never found any time for sparing.

But there is something to be said about the pain that Thanos has withstood over the years. Though he has been defeated by many foes in the past, including Odin and Galactus, Thanos is not someone who sits down lightly. He licks his wounds and returns to the fight, always ready to do whatever is necessarily to enact his feelings of justice, revenge and purpose. It’s hard to say how he would fare in a fight with Darkseid, but it’s clear that he is not someone who will stay down for the count. Even if he is battled and badly bruised, there’s good reason to believe that Thanos will stay resistant.

There is also something to be said about Thanos killing literally trillions of lifeforms in a single second with the Infinity Stones. With just one snap, he wiped out half of all living things, and that’s certainly nothing to squeeze at. He is a character that, at his strongest, has absorbed incredible power, and his ability to wipe clean a whole swath of breathing creatures is a power in which Darkseid, for all his wicked deeds, cannot say he has done so thoroughly in his very vast life.

Nevertheless, Darkseid is a character with such vast technology, incredible powers and monumental capabilities that it’s hard to believe that Thanos, for all his efforts, would be able to defeat Darkseid. Though he would certainly put up a great fight, Darkseid is a character who can transform and also adapt from his opponent in a way that Thanos simply cannot. His strength is undeniable, making Thanos look like a toothpick in comparison, and you can plainly see that Darkseid is a character with great armies and no real moral compass. Even Thanos has a bit of a heart, and that’s something that’s rarely found in Darkseid’s immortal soul. Darkseid can also shoot Omega Beams out of his eyes and hands. That’s certainly something that Thanos simply cannot do.

Even though Thanos was created after Darkseid, his character was reportedly not directly influenced by him. Nevertheless, there is certainly a great shadow of Darkseid in Thanos, but it’s nothing compared to the overwhelming capabilities and powers that Darkseid possesses. He is a ruthless, incredibly powerful being who can and will destroy many living things whenever he is given an opportunity to do so. While Thanos is a character who (almost) defeated his own galaxy, Thanos would have a hard time standing toe-to-toe with Darkseid, though it would be an incredible fight that we’d love to see.

Do you agree with the idea that Thanos would be defeated by Darkseid. Let us know in the comment section which supervillain character you think would live to see another day and why?

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