Marvel vs. DC in Theaters

I always thought that the Justice League would clobbeMarvelr the Avengers in a cross-comic book brawl. But that is most certainly not the case when it comes to movies. In the last few years the Marvel Universe is just decimating DC. And the trend appears to be more in Marvel’s side of the ledger in the future.

Part of the reason is franchises / sequels. Where DC has Batman and Superman (which should be more than enough to take down anyone), Marvel has three Spidermans, two DCFantastic Fours, three X-Men, three Blades and the beginnings of the Iron Man franchise. The three Spiderman movies are in the top 15 grossing movies of all time, seriously weighting the dollar battle towards Marvel.

Out of the top 150 (or so) movies of all time, DC has 5, Marvel has 8; DC’s gross take was about $1 Billion, Marvel’s was $2Billion (the Spiderman franchise thus far is $1Billion, X-Men $600 million).

Upcoming Justice League and Avengers movies will pit the franchises head-to-head. But with more Spiderman, Iron Man and an upcoming Thor movie facing off against more Superman and a possible Wonder Woman, it looks like Marvel will continue to take it to the bank.

List of highest grossing and recent/upcoming after the break.

DC – Highest Grossing

  1. Batman ($251 million, #42 all time)
  2. Batman Begins ($205 million, #75 all time)
  3. Superman Returns ($200 million, #83 all time)
  4. Batman Forever ($184 million, #97 all time)
  5. Batman Returns ($163 million, #138 all time)

MARVEL – Highest Grossing:

  1. Spiderman ($408 million, #7 all time)
  2. Spiderman 2 ($373 million, #10 all time)
  3. Spiderman 3 ($337 million, #15 all time)
  4. X-Men: The Last Stand ($234 million, #54 all time)
  5. X2: X-men United ($215 million, #71 all time)
  6. Iron Man ($178 million, #112 all time and climbing)
  7. X-Men ($157 million, #148 all time)
  8. Fantastic Four ($155 million, #154 all time)


  • Superman Returns ($200 million, #83 all time)


  •  Superman Doomsday (animated)


  • Justice League: A New Frontier (animated)
  • The Dark Knight (upcoming)
  • Batman: Gotham Knight (animated) (upcoming)


  • Ghost Rider ($116 million, #290 all time)
  • Spiderman 3 ($337 million, #15 all time)
  • Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($132 million, #217 all time)


  • Iron Man ($178 million so far, already #112 all time)
  • The Incredible Hulk (upcoming)
  • Punisher: War Zone (upcoming)

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4 Responses

  1. Keith says:

    A true comparison would be in ‘tickets sold’, not ‘money made’. As ticket prices go up, it gives advantages to later movies. If the ‘tickets sold’ information is available, I would love to see this reposted based on that calculation.

  2. admin says:

    Keith, I haven’t seen any reliable source of tickets sold info. I agree with you some kind of inflation based number.

    I’m going to have to redo these numbers after the summer, esp with Iron Man now at #34 all time with $281 million.

  3. CMONEY says:


  1. May 19, 2008

    […] in the eternal war we finally have some objective numbers – that war being Marvel v. DC comics and those numbers being box office grosses. (via) Unsurprisingly Marvel is taking that cake home with almost double the numbers. Which just […]

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