These days, the Marvel brand is automatically associated with superhero blockbusters. Thor, Avengers, Loki, WandaVision, Black Panther, and more come to mind as part of Marvel’s cinematic film and television universe.
As the world enters a new phase in the comic book giant’s storytelling realm, a look back reveals a decade of hits that made billions of dollars. But guess what? Marvel isn’t the studio behind the most expensive comic superhero movie ever made — so far.
Marvel’s superhero movie catalog is impressive
Collectively, Kevin Feige’s involvement with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has resulted in billions of dollars for the company. As of spring 2020, Marvel superhero movies grossed more than $25 billion and stretch all the way to 2002 when X-Men first hit the big screen.
Since then, fans have seen Doctor Strange cast spells across dimensions, Spider-Man in multiple incarnations, Thor’s expansive worlds, and more special effects than one can imagine. Marvel is an undeniable force on the big and small screen, and they pour millions into their creative budgets.
In comparison, DC Comics has brought viewers the likes of Blade, Constantine, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Suicide Squad, and Aquaman. Fans celebrated Justice League and several of these DCEU films killed it at the box office. More superhero screen time is to come from both American comic book titans.
‘Superman’ broke 1 on-screen record that Marvel did not
When people think of Superman these days, they tend to think of Henry Cavill or even Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal in The CW’s TV series. However, there were other iterations of the Man of Steel before those actors, and one helped DC clinch a record that Marvel has yet to outdo. And it’s rather surprising.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive comic book movie ever made is Superman Returns. Remember the 2006 flick that starred Brandon Routh in the lead role?
It was directed by Bryan Singer and the budget was over $270 million USD. The film grossed $390 million and five years after its release, Singer expressed one regret.
In a 2011 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said he would have avoided religious undertones and gone more for action. “He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I’ve always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy s— for a summer movie,” said Singer.
However, he remains proud of the movie and later went on to produce X-Men: First Class, a superhero story from Marvel canon.
In contrast, Captain Marvel holds a different record
The Guinness Book recently recorded a new honor that goes to Marvel. Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as the titular character, is the highest-grossing superhero movie with a female lead. As of March 2021, the film’s made more than $1 billion at the box office.
Released in March 2019, it follows the Carol Danvers’ journey as she picks up her mantle. Following her in second place is none other than Wonder Woman who’s trailing with more than $800 million.
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