It's kind of interesting to see the other side of having a shared universe. Marvel's had pretty much constant success and so we've only seen the positive aspects of linking several movies together, and so DC acts as a reminder of the inherent dangers that come with doing so (and therefby makes Marvel's success even more impressive). Marvel movies with lesser known characters like Ant Man and Doctor Strange received a boost because they took place in a universe filled with characters that the audience is familiar with, and it's a universe they already like. The same is true with Star Wars, of course, and why it's the only other franchise that has managed to pull off a shared universe with Rogue One. As painful as it is to watch, these DC movies are answering the question "What if your new movie existed in a shared universe that a lot of people didn't like?"
We've gone through the problems of the DCU multiple times on these boards but I'd say the main issue is ultimately rooted in its characters. When I was a ten year old, I had two favorite superheroes: Spider-Man and Superman (by the time I'd reached my late teens, this list included Wolverine and The Punisher but that's because I was real angsty, man). My love for Spider-Man was born primarily through the animated shows, and my love of Superman was thanks to Christopher Reeve's portrayal. My favorite superheroes now? Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man. Hell, I'd even own up to having an affection for The Vision if you pushed me. The reason for that is due to Marvel doing a great job at introducing those characters and making them resonate with me on film. They didn't decide to be clever and introduce a different interpretation of Spider-Man where he was continually told "Fuck responsibility! If you get power, do whatever you want with it!" and which ended with him being forced to snap Doctor Octopus' neck, or a bitter asshole version of Captain America who spent the majority of his introduction trying to kill off Iron Man. They stuck to what was largely successful in the comics and, thanks to that (and great casting), they gave us likeable characters that we'd want to follow. The fact that they all live in the same world is secondary. I like Captain America, and I like Iron Man, and I like Spider-Man. Oh, they're going to meet up? That's an added bonus.
I'm not overly familiar with Wonder Woman but, from what I've read, her movie is a fairly faithful adaption of that character. She's tough, she's intelligent, she's inherently good, and all of the things which made her a success in the comics, made her a success on the big screen. She was translated from one medium to the other in the way that Marvel would have done, and it paid off. I'm not sure why it took DC three movies to do that but it's probably too late now. One of my co-workers had a birthday party for their eight year old son recently and she was showing us pictures of it on her phone. All of the kids turned up in superhero costumes and, you know what? There was one Batman and all of the others were dressed as Marvel characters (three Iron Mans, in case you were wondering). I think that says it all about how DCU's characters are being received and why that shared universe is failing.
Edited by MrSaxon - 12/22/17 at 6:18am