Superhero Character that Made the Most at the Box Office?
We all have our favourites, some of us claiming that the Batman series were the quintessential comic book adaptation movies, others believing that the Avengers is THE comic book movie of our time. But which character, through their appearances in various movies over the years, has pulled in the most money?
By pooling the total estimated takings from all the movies that they appeared in we can see which character has made the most money in ticket sales over the years.
5 – Superman
Quite surprisingly at number 5 is Superman. Even though he has been appearing in movies since 1978, and his first appearance in comic books is still the most valuable comic of all time, the man of steel has only pulled in a mere $1.52 billion dollars over the years… that’s not a huge amount considering this includes all 3 versions of the character as played by Henry Cavill, Brandon Routh and the iconic Christopher Reeves.
I suppose it’s fair to keep in mind that movie prices have increased exponentially since 1978 when Reeves first donned the cape and that back then movies were just movies rather than comic book universes. If adjusted for inflation the Kryptonian is likely to be number 1 based on the number of movies made.
4 – Wolverine
In contrast, Wolverine has been played by just one actor over the last 15 years. In that time Hugh Jackman’s combined appearances in all the X-Men movies (not counting his cameo in First Class) alongside his solo movies X-Men Origins and The Wolverine have grossed $2.63 billion.
He may not have made the number 1 slot, but Jackman has made the most number of movies as the same character, making him probably the hardest working actor in all of Marvel-dom.
3 – Batman
This is where things start to get really close and any possible misinformation I’ve uncovered could change the pecking order. However my research puts Batman in at number 3, including all 7 movies to date with 4 different actors having donned the cape and cowl since Michael Keaton’s first appearance in 1989’s Batman.
What is also surprising is how strongly the original Batman movie performed. The movie made a worldwide total of $411 million all the way back in 1989, that’s a huge chunk of change when you take into account inflation and the rise in ticket prices since then. I think that’s a strong vindication of Michael Keaton’s performance being the best portrayal of Batman to date (sorry, I’m not a Bale fan. What’s with that fucking stupid voice?)
Note: This figure doesn’t include any takings from the ORIGINAL Batman movies and show played by the now bat-shit crazy Adam West.
2 – Iron-Man
I’m as shocked as you are that Iron-Man didn’t make it to the number 1 slot, but as you’ll see the line is dangerously close. This figure includes earnings from his appearance in all 3 of his solo movies AND the Avengers, which is still the number 1 grossing comic book movie of all time.
I’m also shocked that his highest grossing solo movie was Iron-Man 3?! I’m guessing it was due to the momentum of Avengers that his least interesting movie made the most money.
… and the winner is …
1 – Spider-Man
While the world of comic geeks was incredibly excited at the announcement of Spidey’s return to the MCU earlier this year, it’s quite clear that he’s been doing alright for himself over at Sony. With 5 movies in total and 2 different actors playing him he managed to earn a whopping $3.95 billion all by himself. No Avengers to help him out, Spider-Man has shown why he’s Marvel’s signature character by earning shit-loads at the box office.
2015 Will Change Everything
It will be interesting to see how these numbers change over the next few years. Iron Man will clearly pull ahead in 2015 when Age of Ultron is released next month, but then will Superman Vs Batman: Dawn of Justice bring the Batman into the top slot in 2016?
Who knows, maybe next year Ant-Man will be number 1.