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Despite the plethora of DC and Marvel movies and TV shows, there is no superhero fatigue, said Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara on Wednesday.
Tsujihara said that as long as the worlds inhabited by Disney’s Marvel characters and Warner’s DC characters are varied, consumers will still flock to their stories.
Some DC shows like Gotham are “dark” and “edgier” than some other DC and Marvel shows, and that diversity is key, Tsujihara said during an appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.
Not only are DC’s franchises different from Marvel’s, but they also differ from each other, said Tsujihara, using as examples Supergirl, which he says widens the demographic of superhero fans, and Aquaman, which introduces “a different world.”
“You have to take advantage of the diversity of these characters,” he said.
While Tsujihara said the massive success of his studio’s American Sniper was a surprise and “an outlier,” franchises are increasingly important, in part because they are easier to market.
“You don’t have to explain what Batman v Superman is,” he quipped, referencing next year’s tentpole starring Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and Henry Cavill as Clark Kent.
Tsujihara also acknowledged his desire that DC just do half the consumer-products business that Marvel does. “That’s a $150 million opportunity,” he said.
DC, he said, is one of the “three pillars” of Warner’s film business, the others being Lego and J.K. Rowling‘s Fantastic Beasts.
Tsujihara also sought to calm fears among some on Wall Street that the big TV networks increasingly look to own their own shows, a trend that presumably would hurt Warner’s very lucrative television production business.
The CEO said his company attracts the best talent in TV because “they’re going to make more money with Warner Bros.” than they will being “a slave to one network.”
Warner Bros., he noted, is the only studio to have at least two shows on every network.
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