The Highest-Grossing and Industry-Breaking Superhero Movies of All Time
Wed, April 14, 2021

The Highest-Grossing and Industry-Breaking Superhero Movies of All Time

According to The Cheat Sheet, a website for showbiz news, “Joker” racked in a billion at the box office and was the movie that made Warner Bros. realize their place in the superhero movie market / Photo by: Pxfuel

 

Superhero movies have been such a big hit in the last decade and sometimes, it’s even more fun when we rewatch them. In the history of superhero films, some will always outdo others, but it doesn’t mean stories of heroism and pride will be lost on us. 

Compared to the many superhero movies that have had their day in the sun, here are some of the best, highest-grossing ones to grace the box office. 

Box Office Toppers

Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Total Earnings: $2.80 billion 

By far the most successful studio in the superhero film hype is Marvel, and with good reason. Over the years, they have released consistent quality movies that almost became the gold standard for superhero movies. Of all the Marvel movies, “Avengers: Endgame was the most popular, garnering $2.80 billion during its time in the box office. 

According to Screen Rant, the site for all your movie news, trailers, and reviews needs, “Endgame” was one of the most anticipated films because it sees Marvel heroes “teaming back together five years after the events of the previous films.” 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 
Total Earnings: $2.05 billion 

Because it’s another superhero ensemble, and one that comes before “Endgame,” “Infinity War” follows closely behind the box office heavyweight with its own $2.05 billion total earnings. In this third Avengers film, Thanos is the villain and the Avengers are trying to stop him from turning half the world into dust with the use of the Infinity Stones. 

It was the perfect transition film, too, and fans were eager enough to wait an entire year until “Endgame” would come out. 

Because it’s another superhero ensemble, and one that comes before “Endgame,” “Infinity War” follows closely behind the box office heavyweight with its own $2.05 billion total earnings / Photo by: Eman Rahman via Flickr

 

The Avengers (2012)
Total Earnings: $1.52 billion 

Is it a surprise that the next entry is yet another Avengers movie? Probably not. With $1.52 billion under its belt, the opening Avengers installment proved that almost every Marvel superhero household name is so bankable that audiences are willing to watch sequels of the ensemble cast. Of course, “The Avengers” comprise some of the OGs, but it was also the movie that told viewers implicitly that Disney might add other heroes onto the roster. 

The movie features the story of "S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury recruiting the superheroes to team together and put an end to the god of mischievous’ plans. It all comes to a head with a giant battle in the streets of New York City.” 

The Industry Breakers 

Joker (2019)
Total Earnings: $1 billion 

It’s true that most top performers at the box office are Marvel titles and the most bankable heroes are those in Marvel but in terms of breaking the industry, DC has far more experience. Now, people will define breaking the movie industry in different ways, but it’s sure that director Todd Phillips really nailed that movie industry-breaking formula when he released Joker. 

According to The Cheat Sheet, a website for showbiz news, “Joker” racked in a billion at the box office and was the movie that made Warner Bros. realize their place in the superhero movie market. Through other films such as “Aquaman” and “Shazam,” it seems DC finally knows how to balance its superhero films. 

Recently, at the 2020 Golden Globes, “Joker” also raised the flag for superhero films over at DC when it “broke comic book movie records” by becoming the most talked-about film of 2019. As written on Screen Rant by Humza Hussain, the film took inspiration from some of the best legendary films from director Martin Scorsese, which were “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy.” 

Wonder Woman (2017)  
Total Earnings: $821 million 

As the tenth-highest grossing film of 2017, “Wonder Woman” is already a wonder on its own, but what fans really loved with “Wonder Woman” was the wonderful and genuine woman touch that it had. So much so that DC decided to expand Wonder Woman’s presence in the cinematic universe by also bringing in Patty Jenkins back for the project. 

When “Wonder Woman” came out, it became apparent that there is a way to make female superhero movies genuinely good and not at all crass or overly-sexualized. “Wonder Woman” had just the right balance of “awe-inspiring action, and delicate themes,” all of which was handled exceptionally well. 

Justice League (2017)
Total Earnings: $657 million 

As listed by Box Office Mojo, a website that tracks box office revenue, “Justice League” only made $657 million worldwide, way, way less than any other film in this list. It turns out the ensemble cast money-maker only works if it’s done well. According to The Cheat Sheet, the movie could have held promise and might have even been able to go head-to-head with Marvel’s more formulaic superhero movies, but it was first director Zack Snyder’s departure halfway through production that caused the movie to fall through. 

At the time, Snyder was dealing with a personal tragedy. That, mixed with the studio’s impatience, ultimately caused “Justice League” to flail uselessly and eventually bomb in theaters. 

As listed by Box Office Mojo, a website that tracks box office revenue, “Justice League” only made $657 million worldwide, way, way less than any other film in this list. It turns out the ensemble cast money-maker only works if it’s done well / Photo by: AntMan3001 via Flickr