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Superhero movies - statistics & facts

Superhero movies have become one of the most popular and profitable movie genres worldwide. Over the past decade, millions of comic book fans and movie lovers from around the globe have flocked to the theater to witness the adventures of their favorite characters on the big screen. Thanks to frontrunners like Marvel and DC, who have taken superheroes from convention halls and comic books to the forefront of mainstream pop culture, superhero stories are now firmly positioned among the highest grossing film franchises worldwide. In 2019, U.S. box office revenue of superhero movies reached an impressive 3.19 billion U.S. dollars, with spectacles such as “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far from Home” performing particularly well among audiences of all ages. As more superheroes are making the jump to the silver screen than ever before, the cinematic landscape will likely be dominated by invincible heroes and heroines for years to come.

Marvel is redefining the franchise movie

Operating under various names since the 1930s, Marvel has produced some of the most recognizable fictional heroes in the United States. For more than a decade, the company has also managed to leverage its experience in the comic book industry to produce some of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood. As of 2021, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the most successful movie franchise in North America, outperforming box office hits and other established franchises such as the Star Wars brand by a significant margin. Five of the ten highest grossing films of all time fall under the Marvel banner, which can be explained by their star-studded casts, impressive production budgets, and the studio’s ability to combine storylines of numerous superheroes into an interconnected and ever-expanding universe. As a case in point, Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” which features popular characters such as Thor, Captain America, and Spiderman, has become not only the company’s highest grossing comic book adaptation but also the most successful movie of all time.

Is DC the eternal runner-up?

DC Comics is one of the best-selling comic book publishers in North America, currently accounting for a third of comic store sales in the United States. DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. and Marvel’s closest competitor, has also been successfully promoting superhero characters such as Superman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman to the big screen in recent years. As of 2021, “The Dark Knight” remains DC’s highest grossing comic film adaptation worldwide, with a box office revenue of over 533 million U.S. dollars. The Batman franchise was one of the biggest box office draws from DC’s Extended Universe and maintains its spot among the top ten highest grossing film franchises worldwide. While DC will probably not overtake Marvel’s financial success all too soon, the company will undoubtedly keep its most marvelous competitor on its toes.


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