The All-Time Comic Book Movie Box Office Ranking List

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.

Year Poster Title Domestic Box Office (U.S. & Canada) International Box Office Total Box Office Adjusted Box Office
1. 2012 Marvels The Avengers_Movie Poster
Marvel’s The Avengers $623,357,910 $888,400,000 $1,511,757,910 $1,538,109,013
2. 2013 ironman3-poster-watermark-jpg_162144
Iron Man 3 $406,609,688 $804,600,000 $1,211,209,688 $1,211,209,688
3. 2012 The Dark Knight Rises_Official Poster
The Dark Knight Rises $488,139,099 $636,300,000 $1,084,439,099 $1,103,341,706
4. 2008
The Dark Knight $533,345,358 $468,576,467 $1,001,921,825 $1,087,049,091
5. 1978 Superman_The Movie_Poster
Superman: The Movie $134,218,018 $166,000,000 $300,218,018 $1,075,609,327
6. 2002 Spider-Man $403,706,375 $418,002,176 $821,708,551 $1,066,969,598
7. 2007 Spider-Man 3 $336,530,303 $554,341,32 $890,871,626 $1,003,675,320
8. 2004 Spider-Man 2 $373,585,825 $410,180,516 $783,766,341 $969,214,834
9. 1997 Men in Black_Poster
Men in Black $250,690,539 $338,700,000 $589,390,539 $857,814,780
10. 1989 Batman_1989_Poster
Batman $251,188,924 $160,160,000 $411,348,924 $774,915,026
11. 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man $262,030,663 $490,185,894 $752,216,557 $765,328,270
12. 2010 Iron Man 2 $312,433,331 $309,623,643 $622,056,974 $666,391,602
13. 2013 Man of Steel_Poster_3
Man of Steel * $290,229,822 $359,500,000 $649,729,822 $649,729,822
14. 2012 MIB3_Poster
MIB3 $179,020,854 $445,005,922 $624,026,776 $634,904,042
15. 2008 Iron Man $318,412,101 $266,762,121 $585,174,222 $634,892,953
16. 2002 Men in Black_II_Poster
Men in Black II $190,418,803 $251,400,000 $441,818,803 $573,691,523
17. 1994 The Mask_Poster
The Mask $119,938,730 $231,644,677 $351,583,407 $554,173,262
18. 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand $234,362,462 $224,997,093 $459,359,555 $532,264,655
19. 2003 X2: X-Men United $214,949,694 $192,761,855 $407,711,549 $517,607,538
20. 1995 Batman Forever_Poster
Batman Forever $184,031,112 $152,498,032 $336,529,144 $515,825,865
21. 2007 300 $210,614,939 $245,453,242 $456,068,181 $513,816,317
22. 2011 Thor $181,030,624 $268,295,994 $449,326,618 $466,619,397
23. 2006 Superman Returns $200,081,192 $191,000,000 $391,081,192 $453,149,812
24. 2005 Batman Begins $205,343,774 $167,366,241 $372,710,015 $445,794,002
25. 1992 Batman Returns_Poster
Batman Returns $162,831,698 $103,990,656 $266,822,354 $444,252,563
26. 1995 Casper_Poster
Casper $100,328,194 $187,600,000 $287,928,194 $441,331,196
27. 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $179,883,157 $193,179,707 $373,062,864 $406,204,956
28. 2000 X-Men $157,299,717 $139,039,810 $296,339,527 $401,996,098
29. 2005 Fantastic Four $154,696,080 $175,883,639 $330,579,719 $395,402,457
30. 2011 The pride of Belgium has come a long way.
The Adventures of Tintin $77,591,831 $296,402,120 $373,993,951 $388,387,478
31. 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger $176,654,505 $191,750,151 $368,404,656 $382,583,073
32. 2013 GI Joe_Retaliation_Poster2
G.I. Joe: Retaliation $122,512,052 $249,400,000 $371,912,052 $371,912,052
33. 2008 Wanted $134,508,551 $206,924,701 $341,433,252 $370,442,780
34. 2011 X-Men: First Class $146,408,305 $207,215,819 $353,624,124 $367,233,698
35. 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles_Poster
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $135,265,915 $66,700,000 $201,965,915 $360,967,328
36. 2013 The Wolverine_Movie Poster
The Wolverine * $125,079,463 $225,600,000 $350,679,463 $350,679,463
37. 1997 Batman and Robin_Poster
Batman and Robin $107,325,195 $130,0881,927 $238,207,122 $346,693,027
38. 2009 GI Joe_The Rise of Cobra_Poster
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra $150,201,498 $152,267,519 $302,469,017 $329,339,705
39. 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $131,921,738 $157,126,025 $289,047,763 $325,647,486
40. 2003 Hulk $132,177,234 $113,183,246 $245,360,480 $311,495,797
41. 1990 Dick Tracy_Poster
Dick Tracy $103,738,726 $59,000,000 $162,738,726 $290,857,807
42. 2012 John Carter_Movie Poster
John Carter $73,078,100 $209,700,000 $282,778,100 $287,707,139
43. 2008 The Incredible Hulk $134,806,913 $128,620,638 $263,427,551 $285,809,404
44. 1981 Superman II $108,185,706 N/A $108,185,706 $278,017,031
45. 2005 Constantine $75,976,178 $154,908,550 $230,884,728 $276,158,468
46. 2007 Ghost Rider $115,802,596 $112,935,797 $228,738,393 $257,701,641
47. 2011 The Green Hornet $98,780,042 $129,037,206 $227,817,248 $236,585,020
48. 2002 Road To Perdition_Poster
Road To Perdition $104,454,762 $76,546,716 $181,001,478 $235,026,243
49. 2013 The Lone Ranger_Poster
The Lone Ranger * $87,989,692 $142,400,000 $230,389,692 $230,389,692
50. 2011 Green Lantern $116,601,172 $103,250,000 $219,851,172 $228,312,361
51. 2003 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen $66,465,204 $112,800,000 $179,265,204 $227,584,970
52. 2003 Daredevil $102,543,518 $76,636,200 $179,179,718 $227,476,442
53. 2002 Blade II $82,348,319 $72,661,713 $155,010,032 $201,276,950
54. 2008 Watchmen $107,509,799 $77,749,184 $185,258,983 $200,999,323
55. 2010 Red $90,380,162 $96,191,551 $186,571,713 $199,868,867
56. 2005 Frank Miller’s Sin City $74,103,820 $84,650,000 $158,753,820 $189,883,550
57. 1998 Blade_Poster
Blade $70,087,718 $61,095,812 $131,183,530 $187,999,680
58. 2011 Cowboys & Aliens $100,240,551 $74,581,774 $174,822,325 $181,550,535
59. 2008 Hellboy II: The Golden Army $75,986,503 $84,401,560 $160,388,063 $174,015,271
60. 1995 Judge Dredd_Poster
Judge Dredd $34,693,481 $78,800,000 $113,493,481 $173,960,782
61. 1994 Timecop_Poster
Timecop $44,853,581 $56,793,000 $101,646,581 $160,217,508
62. 2004 Blade: Trinity $52,411,906 $76,493,460 $128,905,366 $159,405,917
63. 2006 V For Vendetta $70,511,035 $62,000,000 $132,511,035 $153,541,903
64. 1980 Popeye_Poster
Popeye $49,823,037 N/A $49,823,037 $141,243,472
65. 1983 Superman III $59,950,623 N/A $59,950,623 $140,604,676
66. 1982 Annie_Poster
Annie $57,059,003 N/A $57,059,003 $138,121,812
67. 1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II_Poster
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II $78,656,813 N/A $78,656,813 $134,903,941
68. 2012 Ghost-Rider_Spirit-of-Vengeance_Poster
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance $51,774,002 $80,789,928 $132,563,930 $134,874,621
69. 2009 Surrogates $38,577,772 $83,867,000 $122,444,772 $133,322,498
70. 1997 Spawn_Poster
Spawn $54,870,175 $32,969,867 $87,840,042 $127,844,750
71. 2004 Hellboy $59,623,958 $39,695,029 $99,318,987 $122,819,047
72. 2007 TMNT_Poster
TMNT $54,149,098 $41,459,897 $95,608,995 $107,715,170
73. 2013 Red 2_Poster
Red 2 * $51,605,125 $53,231,000 $104,836,125 $104,836,125
74. 2010 Kick-Ass $48,071,303 $48,117,600 $96,188,903 $103,044,383
75. 2004 Catwoman $40,202,379 $41,900,000 $82,102,379 $101,528,784
76. 2001 From Hell $31,602,566 $42,955,549 $74,558,115 $98,398,177
77. 2007 30 Days of Night $39,568,996 $35,936,977 $75,505,973 $85,066,668
78. 2011 Priest_Poster
Priest $29,136,626 $49,172,505 $78,309,131 $81,322,935
79. 1986 Howard the Duck_Poster
Howard the Duck $16,295,774 $21,667,000 $37,962,774 $80,911,972
80. 1991 The Rocketeer_Poster
The Rocketeer $46,704,056 N/A $46,704,056 $80,101,913
81. 1994 The Crow_Poster
The Crow $50,693,129 N/A $50,693,129 $79,903,590
82. 1980 Flash Gordon_Poster
Flash Gordon $27,107,960 N/A $27,107,960 $76,848,434
83. 1994 The Shadow_Poster
The Shadow $32,063,435 $16,000,000 $48,063,435 $75,758,611
84. 2005 A History of Violence_Poster
A History of Violence $31,504,633 $29,236,194 $60,740,827 $72,651,378
85. 1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century_Poster
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century $21,671,241 N/A $21,671,241 $69,728,859
86. 1993 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles_III_Poster
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III $42,273,609 N/A $42,273,609 $68,338,726
87. 2005 Elektra $24,409,722 $32,271,844 $56,681,566 $67,796,144
88. 2004 The Punisher $33,810,189 $20,889,916 $54,700,105 $67,642,804
89. 2013 2 Guns_Poster
2Guns * $65,353,995 N/A $65,353,995 $65,353,995
90. 2013 RIPD_Poster
R.I.P.D. * $32,731,495 $28,900,000 $61,631,495 $61,631,495
91. 1994 Richie Rich_Poster
Richie Rich $38,087,756 N/A $38,087,756 $60,034,733
92. 1981 Heavy Metal_Poster
Heavy Metal $20,117,636 $N/A $20,117,636 $51,698,562
93. 2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World $31,524,275 $16,140,284 $47,664,559 $51,061,660
94. 2003 Bullet Proof Monk_Poster
Bulletproof Monk $23,358,708 $14,355,171 $37,713,879 $47,879,409
95. 1999 Mystery Men_Poster
Mystery Men $29,762,011 $3,699,000 $33,461,011 $46,916,916
96. 1999 Virus_Poster
Virus $14,036,005 $16,616,000 $30,652,005 $42,978,305
97. 2008 The Spirit $19,806,188 $19,225,149 $39,031,337 $42,347,594
98. 2013 Kick-Ass 2_Poster
Kick-Ass 2 * $22,526,445 $16,100,000 $38,626,445 $38,626,445
99. 2012 Dredd 3D
Dredd $13,414,714 $22,211,811 $35,626,525 $36,247,522
100. 1981 The Legend of the Lone Ranger_Poster
The Legend of the Lone Ranger $12,617,845 N/A $12,617,845 $32,425,501
101. 1987 Superman_IV
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace $15,681,020 N/A $15,681,020 $32,244,925
102. 1984 Supergirl_Poster
Supergirl $14,296,438 N/A $14,296,438 $32,142,355
103. 2010 The Losers $23,591,432 $5,788,291 $29,379,723 $31,473,645
104. 1996 The Crow_City of Angels_Poster
The Crow: City of Angels $17,917,287 N/A $17,917,287 $26,675,631
105. 1996 The Phantom_Poster
The Phantom $17,323,326 N/A $17,323,326 $25,791,329
106. 2001 Josie and the Pussycats $14,271,015 $595,000 $14,866,015 $19,619,444
107. 2009 Whiteout $10,275,638 $7,565,229 $17,840,867 $19,425,810
108. 1984 Sheena_Poster
Sheena $5,778,353 N/A $5,778,353 $12,991,339
109. 2010 Jonah Hex $10,547,117 $356,195 $10,903,312 $11,680,402
110. 2001 Ghost World_Poster
Ghost World $6,217,849 $2,546,158 $8,764,007 $11,566,310
111. 2008 The Punisher: War Zone $8,050,977 $2,049,059 $10,100,036 $10,958,175
112. 2003 American Splendor_Poster
American Splendor $6,010,990 $1,975,094 $7,986,084 $10,138,680
113. 2013 Bullet to the Head_Poster
Bullet to the Head $9,489,829 N/A $9,489,829 $9,489,829
114. 1993 Batman_Mask of the Phantasm_Poster
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm $5,617,391 N/A $5,617,391 $9,080,969
115. 1995 Tank Girl_Poster
Tank Girl $4,064,495 N/A $4,064,495 $6,229,985
116. 1996 Barb Wire_Poster
Barb Wire $3,793,614 N/A $3,793,614 $5,648,011
117. 2006 Art School Confidential_Poster
Art School Confidential $3,297,137 $9,492 $3,306,629 $3,831,425
118. 1997 Steel_Poster
Steel $1,710,972 N/A $1,710,972 $2,490,194

 

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.


Comments

  1. Poor Steel. No one liked that movie.

    • But at the same time Ghost World, American Splendor, and Mask of the Phantasm are among the bottom 10…

    • Ghost World and American Splendor are ‘indie’ films… you don’t expect them to make hundreds of millions.

      Mask of the Phantasm didn’t make bank because Warner Bros. didn’t handle or promote it well. What started as a direct-to-home video film got flipped to a theatrical release.

      Shaq’s Steel on the other hand, is not an indie film and was promoted heavily.

      If you’re trying to say that dollars don’t equate to quality, then its only partially true, it depends on other factors. What would be interesting is to see this same list ranked by critic meta-scores, and to see the same list ranked by ratio of revenue to budget.

  2. Two things leap to mind.

    1. It makes me happy that Superman:The Movie is in the top 5. That’s my Superman.
    2. Dredd should have made a lot more money because it was fantastic.

  3. My takeaway from all this is the sheer number of comic book movies that somehow got their asses handed to them by Howard the Duck. Poor Scott Pilgrim. Poor Inexplicable, Bewildering Cult of Josie and the Fucking Pussycats.

  4. Scott Pilgrim πŸ™ I really wish it was way up high on that list.

  5. Still till this day Road to Perdition is one of the best on that list. Loved that movie.

  6. I still love the daredevil movie, always will!!! πŸ™‚

    • Me too lol, I hear the director’s cut is even better?

    • I think it definatepy is, in fact the theatitcal and DC seem like 2 different movies. In the DC, no Electra sex scenes, Coolio’s subplot gets expanded and plays into the main plot; it just seems better and more cohesive. Which is why I like that movie anyway.

  7. Great job on this list, Conor. I’ll be going back to it for a while.

    Happy to see Tintin so high up on the list. That film was a blast. Seeing Steel at the bottom of this list bums me out. I’d hope a “Superman” movie would do better than that. But, its placement does remind me that I need to finally watch it.

    • WIth STEEL they excised everything having to do with Superman from the film. Apparently. I say “apparently” because I haven’t seen it.

    • I’ll vouch for it @Conor. My only experiance with Steel before that was Superman:TAS and the whole time I watched the movie I kept wondering when he was going to meet Superman. He never did…

    • My experience with Steel was from the Death and Return of Superman comic books in the early 90’s. It sort of tried to play into Steel’s storyline there, but it was just awful and, no, Superman had nothing to do with anything.

    • It’s really not good. I think there’s a How Did This Get Made? about it.

  8. Why is 2Guns up there? (shrugs).

    My take away from this is that what modern movies made, is what they made regardless of inflation (I didn’t actually stare obessively at the screen and memorize all the numbers so forgive me if I missed a half-dozen that prove the opposite). Other films had the benefit of decades of DVD sales, which I guess will disappear soon? Is anyone still getting profits from Blade? The original TMNT?

    One other thing I noticed; Superman 4 earned the same as Supergirl. Thats gotta say alot about both movies.

    • Also, I feel like I should thank Conor for doing all this research and writing the article. But I’d be even more impressed if he had watched every movie on here as well πŸ™‚ .

    • “Why is 2Guns up there? (shrugs).”

      Because it’s based on a very good crime comic from BOOM! Studios.

      https://ifanboy.com/comics/2-guns-tp/

    • This is the first I’m hearing of that fact, I thought it was like “Domino”; (somewhat)Based on a true story. I thought Jeremy Jahns (movie reviewer on Youtube) said as much in his 2Guns review.

      I can’t say the movie makes me want to read the book, but out of curiosity what was it like? Similair to MIB or Cowboys and Aliens?

    • @IthoSpaien: If that’s what that guy said then he’s misinformed. 2 GUNS was a five issue mini-series that came out in 2007 and it was a lot of fun. We talked about it a bunch on the podcast when it was originally coming out.

      I can’t imagine that it’s anything like MIB or COWBOYS AND ALIENS in that there are no aliens in it.

    • Ah, but are there cowboys?

    • Oh man, it just occurred to me I may have meant “Pain & Gain”. IN MY DEFENSE, the movies seem really similar from their trailers.

      And I wasn’t asking if 2Guns had aliens or cowboys, just if the book was similar in tone maybe to MiB or Cowboys and Aliens comics.

  9. I think Road to Perdition is my favorite movie on this list.

  10. Why did the Transformer movies get left off of the list?

    • Are they based on comics? Or are they based on Cartoons based on Toys based on awesome?

    • It’s funny, when I made this list those movies didn’t even occur to me. And when I showed it to other people for vetting no one mentioned them. Huh. Maybe I’ll add them in later if I have time.

    • The cartoon came first so I wouldn’t consider the movies based on a comic book.

    • @ghostmann: There are bunch of films on the list featuring characters whose other media appearances pre-dated their comic books appearances.

    • I don’t know how this influences the ruling, but Transformers got started with Hasbro buying Japanese toy lines and hiring Jim Shooter and Denny O’Neil to write the backstory for them.

    • Similarly, G.I. Joe was adapted from Larry Hama’s concept for “Fury Force,” which was going to be a Nick Fury team fighting Hydra. Archie Goodwin came up with Cobra and Hama did everything else.

      USELESS KNOWLEDGE DUMP COMPLETE

    • Hey Conor, so then shouldn’t you have Star Wars on the list then? πŸ˜‰

    • @ghostmann: Like I said in the intro, lots of movies could qualify but I had to draw an arbitrary line somewhere and Star Wars would be firmly outside that line.

    • Yeah but Conor what about…. ahh fuck it… I’m off to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters. πŸ˜‰

    • I seem to remember reading an article on this site in which it stated that Star Wars had a comic book that predates the movie release date. I’m of the impression that it was made to drum up interest for the movie, but still.

    • Well, they got the same start as G.I.Joe. Hasbto got a toy line and started a comic and cartoon to promote it. I’m not sure which came first though, the comic or cartoon.

    • I literally answered this six comments up.

      Dozens of people talking to no one!

    • Hey Jim. Question for ya. Was Gijoe adapted from Lara Hama’s “fury force” concept? I Just want to make sure there is no confusion.

  11. Man I would love to see a third column including budget.

    It makes me wonder what the overall John Carter Budget was. I really liked that movie and it did pretty well internationally, but it is considered the biggest flop of last summer. I still blame whoever was in charge of advertising for that one.

  12. Also cheers to Conor for actually adjusting for inflation, it drives me BONKERS that most top selling movie lists don’t do that.

  13. For shits and giggles….

    I’ve seen 99 out of the 118 films listed here.

    The ones haven’t seen in case you were wondering (and I know you were)

    Spider-Man 3, Casper, Adventures of Tin Tin, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Lone Ranger, Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance, Surrogates, TMNT, Red 2, Catwoman, Priest, TMNT III, 2 Guns, R.I.P.D, Legend of The Lone Ranger, Josie and the Pussycats, Whiteout, and Jonah Hex

    Yeah, I watched Steel. πŸ˜‰

    • You are the blessed soul that was spared the torture that is Spider-Man 3? I’ve long heard tales of your existence, but never truly believed.

      You lucky bastard.

    • Did my own count. Just for funsies.

      I come in at having seen 97 out of 118. Sadly, I wasn’t spared the same atrocities you were.

      Does this make us awesome? Or pathetic?

    • Don’t ever watch Priest, Whiteout, or Spiderman 3. They are painful to watch. I have not seen catwoman, j and the p cats, casper or the new ones on the list. The rest are just mediocre. I think you managed to avoid some stinkers, congrats.

    • For some reason I’m thinking there’s a JayZ song reference opportunity here.

    • Hey WheelHands, truth be told I got 23 minutes into Spider-Man 3 and then turned it off. =)

  14. Great round up. Can’t believe you didn’t include the best Punisher movie (Dolph Lundgren, 1989) on the list. However, I did look it up on the site you used and it was not there, so I understand the omission.

    • It went straight to video and was never released in theaters in the United States and it’s too old for any reliable foreign box office numbers and so I left it off the list. Same thing with CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990).

  15. I’m sure this is damn near impossible, or at the very least not worth the effort, but it’d be a lot of fun to imbed some kind of voting system onto this list and have the iFanbase generate the same list in order of popularity. I’m sure the result would be a very different list and sprout some really good discussion.

    The only reason I thought of it was after looking at the bottom half of the list, it’s amazing how many cult/fan favorite films garnered a lot of their praise on VHS/DVD. Films like Mask of the Phantasm, Scott Pilgrim, American Splendor, and The Rocketeer are considered required viewing among our kind, and yet their box office turnout was sinfully poor.

    Random thoughts:

    – It’s amazing (and inspiring) that Superman: The Movie maintains at the number 5 spot in the wake of the onslaught of superhero films that it inspired. Truly wonderful.

    – Also interesting is the amount of terrible sequels (usually third in a trilogy) that rank higher than their predecessors. Proof that the more interest is gained by quality initial entries, the tougher the disappointment when everything fizzles out.

    – For some reason, when I was really little, I watched the shit out of Annie. I have no idea why. But seeing it on the list made me smile. Go ahead girl! … Don’t mock me.

    Thanks for this, CK. Really cool stuff.

  16. Excellent. I’m glad this is inflation adjusted.

  17. Man bullet proof monk and mystery men deserved way more cash.

  18. How could The Phantom be so low on the list? Billy Zane! Purple tights!

  19. Dick Tracey made over 100 million in the US alone? I thought that was a gigantic bomb?

    • According to IMDb, the budget for Dick Tracy was ~$46M. I believe that doesn’t include the money spent on marketing, which was substantial. So, it wasn’t a huge financial success, but it wasn’t a total stinker either. In the end, I think the disappointment surrounding Dick Tracy had to do with what should have been achieved given the level of star power (Beatty, Madonna, Pacino), the strength of the IP, and the size of the marketing budget.

    • That makes sense. For done reason I remember this being spoken of as a disaster, but the truth is probably much closer to your explanation.

    • Tracy made money because everyone was riding high on Burton’s Batman still.

    • @JesseCuster: And because of the heavily hyped cast and because it is a fantastic movie.

    • @Conor: Have you watched it recently? I admit that I have not watched it since seeing it in the theater. I think once you get over what the film is and isn’t, I think it could be very enjoyable. But, “fantastic”? Are you saying 4 stars (or better) on the Netflix scale? Based on my recollection, I would give it 3.5.

    • @ctrosejr: Yes, I own it on Blu-ray. I’d give it 4 stars (which I did on Netflix).

  20. Conor, fantastic job compiling this list! Very interesting stuff.

  21. Also, this list shows if you wan a gigantic box office, put Stan Lee in your movie!

  22. I’m astonished that Iron Man 1 is so low on the list, since it practically changed everything having to do with comic book movies (well, I guess Blade did more for comic movies…but since Blade at least).

    Fun basic math: Iron Man 1, and to some extent RDJ, is responsible for $4,747,930,068 in Disney/Marvel’s coffers.

  23. Total of these films I have seen: 66 (56%)
    Total of these films I really like: 35 (53%)
    Total of these films my girlfriend actually enjoys: 13

  24. Man, Mask of the Phantasm should have made SOOO much more! Favorite animated flick of ALL TIME (seconded by Return of the Joker: Uncut)…

    You’d figure that an animated Batman would have grossed a lot more than it did, even in the 90’s. I mean, Disney movies have ALWAYS made a ton of money! You can’t really blame it on being animated. Was it just poorly marketed?

    • I fondly remember seeing it in theaters. I did my part.

    • Apparently it wasn’t good enough! πŸ˜‰

      Just kidding. I’m sure it was purely our demographic that saw it. I would have seen it like 20 times and dragged all my friends with me!

    • If I recall, it was originally produced as a direct to video feature, us Warner Bros. decided last minute to push it into theaters just before Christmas, so it had virtually zero marketing behind it. It’s a shame, but I think it’s had some solid numbers on VHS/DVD sales. It is clearly the best interpretation of Batman in film.

    • @MaxPower Oh, definitely. It has a good cult following and remains the absolute definitive version on film. Beats Burton, Nolan, and all the rest!

    • Yeah I completely forgot this was a theatrical film. It was a really good, mainly expanded, story in the Animated Series universe.

      As we all know, THE PHANTOM should have been much higher on this list. Thanks to the lovely and dreamy Billy Zane.

  25. Can’t believe Superman Returns out grossed Batman Begins. How did that happen??

  26. I wasn’t aware Timecop was from a comic. I thought they might have just made it up as they went along. (Radiocarbon dating gold? What?)

  27. The Green Hornet and John Carter aren’t actually ‘comic’ movies. Since The Green Hornet started as a radio show and John Carter was a series of novels. EDIT: Ditto for GI Joe flicks

    Also you forgot Persepolis.

    Also possibly Akria, Ghost in the Shell, Nausicaa Valley of the Wind, and other major Manga adaptions that got US domestic releases.

  28. Just so happened that Superman II was on last night… what a pile of crap. Hoooooo boy was that bad.

  29. No Dylan Dog: Dark of Night? Which would be about third from last with some $4m.

    Great list though. Do we have any idea what accounts for the massive drop between Superman and Superman II? I can’t believe the very public Donner falling out would mangle its success that badly.

  30. Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb

  31. I have been going back and forth over this list several times (I love this stuff). I think it’s really interesting as it truly points out how much of a “flop” summer we have had this year with blockbuster movies. I know that’s something everyone and their dog as announced already but when you see the potential of “comic book films” or “Franchise Films based on IP’s” and then see how short everyone, except Warner Bros, has fallen.

    Also, why has Sam Raimi not been given the same deal the Christopher Nolan has? Three of the films he has directed make up the top ten. Maybe, Drag me to Hell didn’t blow up the box office but shouldn’t he get some sort of credit to do whatever he wants at this point?

    • I think SM3 kinda tarnished his rep a bit, and I don’t think he ever had the same “reach” with his movies as Nolan. Also, I don’t think his directing is as intellectual as Nolan. Still, both had respect for their material and artistic intergrity against the Studio Execs. So I agree, Raimi should get alittle more credit I think.

  32. Something I always wondered… why did Batman Begins debut so modestly? Back then, I was so damn excited to see it that I forced people to come with me to midnight showings, which was packed! And then I saw it a 2nd time.

    Were Begin’s numbers actually really good for a major blockbuster back in 2005? (I don’t think so? When you consider The Matrix , Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Pixar movies?)

    Was the average film-goer still reeling from Joel Schmuck-maker’s horrible Bat-films, and had trust issues?

    I love BoxOfficeMojo BTW… I actually have it bookmarked.

    Also…I don’t know many people who read it… but does anyone else agree that A History of Violence the movie is WAY better than the book? (of course, I saw the film first before reading the book).

    • “I don’t know many people who read it… but does anyone else agree that A History of Violence the movie is WAY better than the book? (of course, I saw the film first before reading the book).”

      Yeah, the movie is much better than the book. ROAD TO PERDITION too.

    • I never read it, but I’ll take your word for it. The movie is amazing!

  33. Rocketeer, John Carter, Dredd and Scott Pilgram should have made heaps more money. Dredd and John Carter are two of my favorite comic book movies by far.

  34. I have only not watched 10 of these films…………..well now I’m just depressed. A lot of wasted time in my life.

    • I’m impressed by you guys who have seen so many. I’m only at 77 of 118. I worked at a movie theater for several years in the 1990’s where I saw lots of movies for free, and I’ve had Netflix for the past 15 years. I feel like I watch A LOT of movies, so you guys who are in the 90+ range are true aficionados of the comic-book movie genre.

  35. 96 out of 118 . . . I’m embarassed to say that I’ve actually sat in a theater and watched some of these . . . SMH

  36. My predisposition not to watch bad movies is clearly evident as I go through this list. If I group the list in groups of 25, the number of movies I have seen goes down dramatically as I go down the list.

    Rank / # I have seen / Cumulative # I have seen
    01 – 25 / 25 / 25
    26 – 50 / 17 / 42
    51 – 75 / 19 / 61
    76 – 100 / 7 / 68
    101 – 118 / 7 / 75

  37. I just saw a pick of Olivia Wilde with a wonder woman t shirt. Maybe she knows something we don’t. Justice League movie isn’t that far away, who knows.

    • Olivia Wilde… That would be interesting… Or maybe that’s my crush on her talking. πŸ˜‰

      Maybe they should screen-test her. She’s a good actress and needs another big, memorable role.

    • My crush is bigger than your crush. πŸ™‚

      Oh what the hell. I would even share my crush with you.

      She was so hot in that movie that everyone hated. The one with Jack Black. I didn’t think it was so bad, or maybe that’s my crush on her talking.