Over the past decade, the Hollywood has learned that the superheroes will always earn you money. Even, if they are lousy, even if the story of the movie sucks, they will still make you big bucks. Such has been the explosion of the superhero movies on the box-office that Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the biggest franchise in the industry.
The superhero movies are biggest safe bet in the Hollywood right now. And, it has the major backing of history. The four of the top twenty highest-grossing movies of all-time are comic book genre movies. Every year, the comic book based movies are some of the most anticipated releases. And, even before the fans realize that the movie is a mess, it had already made a heady profit. The last superhero movie ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ crossed the billion mark with utmost ease. The June 29, 2015 release ‘Ant-Man’ is also expected to make mega bucks as well. It is doing good until now in some countries. Though, in U.S., it is scheduled to be released on July 17, 2015.
Similarly, the next year (2016) releases such as ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ are expected to attract fans in hordes and earn millions in revenue. And, who knows one of them might manage to become the highest grossing movie. For now, we have the list of superhero movies that have earned most at the box office.
The Amazing Spider-Man ($757.9 Million)
Due to the lack of concept to move the earlier Spider Man trilogy ahead, the movie producers decided to give a face lift to the webbed wonder and presented the taller and younger superhero. The Social Network star Andrew Garfield was roped in to replace Tobey Maguire and director Marc Webb was hired to pump energy into the project. The story of the movie was developed on more contemporary lines and the hero itself was written in such a way that it should serve as a reflection of modern generation. And, it all worked wonderfully as the movie went on to earn $757.9 million. The movie was made on the budget of $230 million.
The movie was also positively received by many critics. The right balance of emotional and comedic elements made the movie an entertaining and satisfying watch. Also, the decision to portray a stronger romance between Peter Parker and his ladylove also proved to be a masterstroke as the younger audience was able to connect with the characters in a better way.
Guardians Of The Galaxy ($774.2 Million)
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ led by the charismatic and hilarious Star Lord (or Peter Quill) proved to be a surprise hit of the 2014. The movie surpassed all the expectations and proved to be a monumental hit in terms of box office revenue as well as critical acclaim. The impressive weaving of the comedic elements in the sci-fi genre made movie very endearing to the fans. And, so did the subtle and dry wit of Rocket, the genetically engineered raccoon. The director and writer of the movie played special attention on clearly defining the difference between various cultures and their unique way of thinking. And, this gave the movie a realistic touch and gave audience an occasional guffaw born out of the misunderstandings. The special effects in the movie were brilliant and so was the creation of the Xandar Empire.
The titular team of misfits looked perfect together and earned $774.2 million for their entertaining performance. And, the Marvel think tank has laid it out perfectly with the introduction of the galactic team that could join forces with the Avengers in the future movies.
Spider-Man 2 ($783.8 Million)
The Spider-Man 2 established Tobey Maguire as a huge star as he battled another villain to save New York. The second installment of Sam Raimi directed superhero series was a huge hit as the never seen before special effects enthralled audiences all over the globe. The movie grossed over $783 million worldwide and managed to bag number of awards including Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. It also received five awards at the Saturn Awards ceremony including Best Fantasy Film and Best Director for Raimi. The movie was also widely praised by the critics with Alfred Molina getting special praise for his masterful acting as a villain. His portrayal of Dr. Otto Octavius (Doctor Octopus), who becomes villainous following a failed experiment and his wife’s death was considered a key element in the movie, that made this movie one of the most successful superhero movies. Also, the focus on Peter’s conflict with his personal wants against his responsibility gave the movie more depth and another dimension.
Spider-Man ($821.7 Million)
This was the movie that ushered comic book heroes into a new era and proved that making a superhero movie can be extremely fruitful in terms of box-office earnings. This was the movie that served as starting point for the Marvel franchise which over the years has delivered some truly magnificent and entertaining movies. To put it simply, the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor won’t have existed if the Spider-Man had failed. The Spider-Man’s battle with Green Goblin was well received by the fans. At that time, it was the only film to reach $100 million in its first weekend, had the largest opening weekend gross of all time. With $820 million revenue, it was 2002’s biggest release and seventh highest grossing film at that time. The movie was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards ceremony for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing and was widely praised for not compromising on comics features to make an entertaining movie. And, who can forget the passionate smooch shared by upside down hanging Spider-Man and Mary Jane.
Spider-Man 3 ($890.9 Million)
The Spider-Man 3 released in 2007 was the most successful superhero movie in terms of box-office earnings until the release of ‘The Dark Knight’ a year later. Although, it was the most successful movie of the Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man trilogy, but in terms of reviews and critics ratings, it was the worst of the three. The movie was roundly criticized for the lack of pace and humor. Many observers felt that three villains made the movie a complete mess. And, even these three villains combined didn’t pack a punch that Doctor Octopus had in the previous movie. Too many villains, romantic triangle, Peter’s conscience struggles and super action scenes were packed too tightly in 139 minutes, and as a result, none of them were given proper time and exposure. It was a case of half-baked dish with ingredients one too many.
However, that didn’t stop the movie from earning jaw-dropping $890.9 million in box offices worldwide. And, due to this immense commercial success, the producers had asked Raimi to work on the fourth movie of the installment. But, due to disagreement with Sony over how to take series forward, Raimi decided to leave the series. The fourth installment never materialized and the series was rebooted.
The Dark Knight ($1.005 Billion)
The second installment in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is considered by many as the best out of the three series. This movie introduced the diabolical Joker’s character to the audience. The character, which Heath Ledger driven by his maniac obsession and extreme preparation made one of the most popular and iconic villainous characters in the history of the Hollywood. The joker brought a completely new kind of challenge to the Gotham city and Christian Bale in his second outing as Caped Crusader had to be at his very best to tackle the chaos Joker had created. The iconic Batman comics’ villain Two Face also made an exciting appearance towards the end of the movie.
The movie was a massive financial success and was critically acclaimed for a great storyline and brilliant acting from the leading actors. It received eight Academy Award nominations including the award for Best Sound Editing and Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor.
The Dark Knight Rises ($1.084 Billion)
And, on the next spot is the sequel of ‘The Dark Knight.’ And, incidentally being a sequel to such a great movie has proved to be the biggest obstacle in winning appreciation for the movie. If the movie isn’t compared with ‘The Dark Knight’ and Bane isn’t compared with Joker, then the most widely accepted consensus would be that it was a marvelous movie and Bane, a unique villain who holds the distinction of dominating Batman. In the movie, Bane served as a powerful front for the implementation of nefarious schemes of ‘League of Shadows.’ In general, the critics as well as audience enjoyed the movie. Tom Hardy’s menacing portrayal of imposing Bane was widely appreciated by the audience. And, Anne Hathaway’s appearance as Cat-Woman added much needed sex appeal to the movie. Christian Bale was once again imperious as Batman/Bruce Wayne. With the box office earning of $1 billion plus, the movie brought a successful and satisfying end to one of the most popular movie series.
Iron Man 3 ($1.215 Billion)
No superhero movie list can be complete without the addition of the Iron Man. And, in this list, we have the third movie from the Iron Man series. And, if reports are to be believed, then in all probability, this would be the last movie in the series as well. Hey, however, the Iron Man fans need not worry because Iron Man will at least make appearance in the next installment of Captain America and Avengers. Back to topic now. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark had to deal with the mysterious suicide bombings and the emergence of terrorist Mandarin. And, he did it with his trademark flair, swagger and caustic wit. The movie went on to earn $1.215 billion at the box office, which considering the fact that it was said to be the weakest Iron Man movie is surprising. I personally feel it was a great movie and it might have suffered from the last movie of the series syndrome, in which last movie of every series is always considered rubbish. Anyhow, the producers of the movie won’t be worried as the movie grabbed the 8th position in the highest-grossing movies of all-time list.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron ($1.345 Billion)
Officially, the revenue is still flowing in, so hypothetically this movie can rise to the first spot. However, it is running out of steam and won’t be able to add much to the box office collection. This was the eleventh movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one of the most successful movies in the franchise. The movie’s billion dollar plus earning has made it the third highest-grossing film of 2015 and the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time. It was widely praised by the critics. The movie think tank was also praised for creating a worthy foe in Ultron for the team of superheroes. The romantic angle between Romanoff and Bruce Banner made things interesting and made the movie more dynamic in terms of emotional tension. And, the addition of Vision to the roster was a pleasant surprise. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver also did fine.
The Avengers ($1.519 Billion)
The highest earning superhero movie of all time is ‘The Avengers.’ This 2012 movie was the final movie in Marvel’s Phase one. All the movies before ‘The Avengers’ were written and released in a specific order so that they would perfectly align and the paths of all the superheroes would cross in one single movie. In this movie, the superheroes, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America along with their allies Black Widow and Hawkeye saved the world from an army of Chitauri unleashed by Loki.
With more than 1.5 billion dollar earnings, the movie was a resounding success on the box office. It is the 3rd highest-grossing movie of all time, with only Titanic and Avatar having earned more money. And, it was also positively received by critics, who in particular praised the gelling up of superheroes in one compact script.