A couple of years ago I took a look at the box office performances of the modern age (post-2000) comic book movies to see how popular these movies ended up being with the movie-going public after all the hoopla from opening weekend faded away. I also wanted to see how these stacked up once you adjusted the grosses for inflation because it wouldn’t make any sense to compare them in other way. (Well, unless they publicized total tickets sold, which is the only true comparison as ticket prices vary.) It was a lot of fun.
Now that another summer movie season is winding down, I’ve decided to revisit the box office numbers–this time casting a wider historical net–because the movie business has changed dramatically in the last 3-5 years, with things like the near-total collapse of the DVD market, the rise of 3D and its higher ticket prices, and an increased focus on the international (i.e. outside of the U.S. and Canada) box office by the major Hollywood studios.
As for methodology, the box office numbers come from BoxOfficeMojo and I used the US Inflation Calculator to get the adjusted grosses. While compiling the list I reached a grey area as to what exactly is a comic book movie and what isn’t, but at a certain point I just decided “what the hell” and I threw a lot of borderline films in the mix. Additionally, BoxOfficeMojo did not have foreign box office information for some films (indicated by “N/A”) so their ranking here would not indicate their total numbers, just those publicly available, but that’s okay because this is just all in good fun.
* – Denotes films still currently playing in theaters.
Note: I scoured the internet for box office figures for Batman: The Movie (1966) but I couldn’t find any credible numbers or sourced numbers that I trusted. It remains in the top ten of my heart.