Most Successful Superhero films of All time!

You kinda have to be living under a very large rock if you have not noticed the barrage of Superhero films that have been released in like the last 13 years. It’s almost like we get a new one every other 3 months.

We have practically been bombarded with makes, remakes, remakes of remakes, makes of the remakes of the remakes, successful attempts, interesting attempts, wins, flops and epics…. and if you would just take a min to do some research on Google you would find out that the barrage has just begun!!!

There are so many scheduled to be released in the next couple of years that if you think you have watched enough super hero films to last you a lifetime, I would suggest you just sit back, relax and maybe look back in the year 2020 to check how many new ones were released between this post and Jan 1, 2020.

The question a couple of people are asking is ‘why are they making so many super hero films in recent times?! It’s sequel, upon sequel, upon sequel!

Imagine ‘The Man Of Steel’ hasn’t arrived yet and Part 2 has already been confirmed….. What exactly is going on with Hollywood and Superheroes?

Well as I like to tell anyone that bothers to listen…..’The Biggest Motivator Of Content in Hollywood is THE NUMBERS!’ What is the Box Office Saying?

No matter what anybody has to say, it’s not the critical acclaim, the awards, or the buzz that decides what you’ll eventually watch most times. All of that without commensurate numbers can kill any movie franchise hoping to see the screens.

So back to the initial question, ‘why are they making so many super hero films in recent times?’

The Answer is simple: The Details are in THE NUMBERS!!!

Below are tables that outline the box office trends of what I consider the ‘Top 5’ Superhero franchises.

1. Spider-Man:





Spider-Man (2002)




Spider-Man 2 (2004)




Spider-Man 3 (2007)




The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)




The reason Spider-Man comes first is Simple. It was the first of the ‘Blockbuster’ superhero films. It’s first installment in 2002 made over $800million and none of the four films released thus far has made less than $700million worldwide! It’s always been believed that Spidey has the largest fan base when it comes to Superheroes. I guess this may be right.

2. Marvel’s Avengers Series:





Iron Man (2008)




The Incredible Hulk (2008)




Iron Man 2 (2010)




Thor (2011)




Captain America (2011)




The Avengers (2012)




Iron Man 3 (2013)




This is most definitely the most successful of the franchises when it comes to total box office receipts. It’s revenue should reach the $5billion mark by this weekend but the reason it is at No2 here is the inconsistency between movies. Some were major hits, while others received lukewarm reception, but all in all, they’ve proved themselves worthy.

3. Batman:





Batman (1989)




Batman Returns (1992)




Batman Forever (1995)




Batman and Robin (1997)




Batman Begins (2005)




The Dark Knight (2008)




The Dark Knight Rises (2012)




The Smartest, baddest, of them all comes in at No3. accomplishments include: 

  • Being the first to reach the billion dollar mark.
  • Being the only one to have two films as a singular hero amassing $1billion each.
  • Making all the money Superman is still trying to get. (i’m sure he’s probably laughing at Superman somewhere saying, ‘and y’all said I didn’t have any super powers! How’d you like me now?’
4. X-Men:





X-Men (2000)




X2: X-Men United (2003)





The Last Stand (2006)




X-Men Origins:

Wolverine (2009)





First Class (2011)




The X-men come in at No4. Even though they haven’t really made staggering box office receipts, they do have consistency as their least successful film so far made a profit of over $190million.

I really don’t know if they want to make staggering box office or if they are capable of it but I know they are able to keep the consistency going with their future films.

 5. Superman:





Superman (1978)




Superman II (1980)



Superman III (1983)



Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)



Superman Returns (2006)




Now we arrive at the man of Steel himself! As you would have noticed from the first day’s post, Superman has not really been able to hit the right punch when it comes to box office receipts.

Some have called him a boring superhero, others say that they haven’t really made a good one but most agree that the upcoming Man Of Steel seems like it would change the game. What are your thoughts on that?

Below is a table listing the previously listed films according to how profitable they were:

S/N Movie (Year) Worldwide Gross Budget Profit
1 The Avengers (2012) $1,511,757,910 $220mill $1,291,757,910
2 Iron Man 3 (2013) $1,196,583,326 $200mill $997,583,326
3 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) $1,084,439,099 $250mill $834,439,099
4 The Dark Knight (2008) $1,004,558,444 $185mill $819,558,444
5 Spider-Man (2002) $821,708,551 $139mill $682,708,551
6 Spider-Man 3 (2007) $890,871,626 $258mill $632,871,626
7 Spider-Man 2 (2004) $783,766,341 $200mill $583,766,341
8 The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) $752,216,557 $230mill $522,216,557
9 Iron Man (2008) $585,174,222 $140mill $445,174,222
10 Iron Man 2 (2010) $623,933,331 $200mill $423,933,331
11 Batman (1989) $411,348,924 $35mill $376,348,924
12 Thor (2011) $449,326,618 $150mill $449,326,618
13 X2: X-Men United (2003) $407,711,549 $110mill $297,711,549
14 X-Men:The Last Stand (2006) $459,359,555 $210mill $249,359,555
15 Superman (1978) $300,218,018 $55mill $300,218,018
16 Batman Forever (1995) $336,529,144 $100mill $236,529,144
17 Captain America (2011) $368,608,363 $140mill $228,608,363
18 Batman Begins (2005) $374,218,673 $150mill $224,218,673
19 X-Men Origins:Wolverine (2009) $373,062,864 $150mill $223,062,864
20 X-Men (2000) $296,339,527 $75mill $221,339,527
21 X-Men:First Class (2011) $353,624,124 $160mill $193,624,124
22 Batman Returns (1992) $266,822,354 $80mill $186,822,354
23 Superman Returns (2006) $391,081,192 $270mill $121,081,192
24 The Incredible Hulk (2008) $263,427,551 $150mill $113,427,551
25 Batman and Robin (1997) $238,207,122 $125mill $113,207,122
26 Superman II (1980) $108,185,706 $54mill $54,185,706
27 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) $15,681,020 $17mill -$2,681,020
28 Superman III (1983) $59,950,623

 That is some major CASH innit? One film has made over $1billion in profit and it looks like that list could increase in the next few days as Iron Man 3 is still showing in cinemas.

Going beyond their actual numbers however, you would notice that even though Super hero films had been produced regularly in the past, the new millennia just seemed to usher in way much more!

Since year 2000, we have 20 films of the 28 that appear above! 20! And this is not a full list of Superhero films, just the most popular ones.

Audiences seemed to be very receptive to the movies and I trust Hollywood not to disappoint!

When there is a trend in the taste of the audience, movie makers will milk the blood from the tiniest vein in that trend before they allow it rest.

Anyways in 2006, ‘The Machine’ tried its hand at re-vamping Superman to the big screen but alas, he just refused to fly! And as the trend of Super Hero films just seems to be getting better and better (in the last 5 years, 4 super hero films have joined the list of billion dollar films), they have decided to give it another try.

With a new look, new actors, new producers, director, plot, EVERYTHING! Superman is scheduled to land on the screens once again!

Do you think it would become the 5th Super Hero Film in the last Five years to join the billion dollar film club?

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  1. Pingback: Countdown To ''The Man Of Steel''

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