Over the course of the past year, superhero tentpole motion picture productions have taken the spotlight when it comes to major blockbuster releases time and time again – and not for the first time. Among the several competing Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe installments from 2016, movies like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War garnered plenty of attention from general viewers and critics alike, and were two of the most widely talked about movies – for better and for worse.
While other franchise mainstays like Star Trek Beyond and Ghostbusters also attracted a crowd, it is perhaps the modern superhero movie that continues to be the most popular coming attraction among mainstream moviegoing audiences. On that note, the latest findings from Google reveal that two underdog theatrical releases starring a number of cult-favorite superheroes on both sides of the MCU and DCEU divide were the most searched for movie titles over the course of 2016.
According to Google, Deadpool and Suicide Squad were the top two movies that were typed into the search engine the most over the course of the entire 2016 calendar year, followed by The Revenant, Captain America: Civil War, and Batman V Superman. Additionally, the films were among the most searched terms of the year, with Deadpool at #7 and Suicide Squad at #10. Longtime fans of each respective comic book franchise were apparently eager to see their favorite superheroes on the big screen in equal measure, and even served to outshine the likes of The Avengers, Batman, and Superman on the world stage.
When it came to positive reviews, Deadpool and Suicide Squad couldn’t be more different. While the former 20th Century Fox production managed to please critics and longtime fans of the character, Warner Bros. Pictures had a bit of an uphill battle with the latter motion picture – though early reviews ultimately didn’t matter when the film became the eighth highest grossing release of 2016.
Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War may have had the more familiar casts of characters from a consumer standpoint, but the built-in cult appeal of Deadpool and Suicide Squad – which resulted in months and months of build up and anticipation leading up to their respective theatrical releases – made 2016 the year of the underdog superhero movie on Google. The current moment may be dominated by awards season contenders and Oscar hopefuls, but in terms of mainstream recognition, interest, and fan adulation the numbers don’t lie, making the case for even more interest when the likes of Deadpool 2 and Suicide Squad 2 finally see theatrical release.