Jason Momoa starrer Aquaman is the tenth superhero movie and the third DC movie to enter the billion dollar club. Directed by James Wan, the film was about DC Comics character Arthur Curry/Aquaman. The movie was released by Warner Bros in China two weeks before its US release date and the gamble paid off for the studio in a royal fashion as the movie was already a success before it hit its domestic market.
Here are ten superhero films that ended their box office run earning more than 1 billion dollars worldwide. All figures are according to boxofficemojo.com
Avengers: Infinity War (2018): The massive crossover film that brought together nearly all the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters together became the fourth highest grossing movie in cinema history. It ended its theatrical run at 2.04 billion dollars. Its followup, Avengers: Endgame, should do even better.
The Avengers (2012): Marvel’s The Avengers was the first time so many superheroes appeared in a live-action movie together, and somehow they all were written well, even the ones for whom we did not know so well (Hawkeye, for instance). Add to that, the film’s bad guy was one of the best things about it. Tom Hiddleston played Loki with appropriate sliminess and yet managed to make him charismatic. The Avengers earned 1.51 billion dollars worldwide.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015): It was going to be difficult enough for a movie to be as successful as The Avengers, and Age of Ultron was saddled with new additions to an already huge cast and a strictly decent villain. Replacing Loki with a robot was never going to help. Still, Age of Ultron managed to mint 1.40 billion dollars globally.
Black Panther (2017): Chadwick Boseman reprised his role of T’Challa/Black Panther from Captain America: Civil War in this Ryan Coogler directorial. The film, despite a messy climax, was uber-fun with a good story, characters, stunning visuals and a really cool soundtrack. The film also tackled racism, slavery and colonialism — topics that superhero movies do not usually touch. Black Panther earned 1.34 billion dollars worldwide.
Incredibles 2 (2017): Brad Bird’s sequel to The Incredibles was not as perfect as the first one, but it was still a lot of fun and its action sequences were still actually compelling and watchable, unlike live-action superhero action where everything is a blur. Incredibles 2 earned 1.24 billion dollars.
Iron Man 3 (2013): Iron Man 2 was a letdown when compared to the first film in the series. This is why hopes from Iron Man 3 were high and its promotional material signalled the franchise’s return to brilliance of Iron Man 1. The action scenes, a twist regarding the real bad guy, Downey Jr’s immense star power, all catapulted Iron Man 3 to 1.21 billion dollars.
Captain America: Civil War (2016): Although ostensibly centred on Steve Rogers, Civil War was an Avengers film in all but name. The superhero team was divided in two factions and a massive battle was teased by the makers. Captain America: Civil War earned 1.15 billion dollars by the time it exited the theatres.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012): The conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy failed to live up to its predecessor but was still a solid film in its own right. Bruce Wayne/Batman had to save Gotham City from the biggest threat yet — Tom Hardy’s hulking mercenary, Bane, who wanted to burn Gotham to the ground and finish what Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul started. The Dark Knight Rises earned 1.08 billion dollars.
The Dark Knight: Consistently ranked as the best superhero movie ever made, The Dark Knight was more of a crime-action drama than a comic-book movie. The superhero in question was after all just a guy in a fancy suit. The movie was elevated by its cast and one of the most compelling bad guys ever to appear in a movie, the Joker, played by Heath Ledger. The Dark Knight earned 1.004 billion dollars.
Aquaman: The latest addition to the 1 billion dollar club, James Wan’s tapped classic adventure movies to craft a visually gorgeous superhero film with a whole new world and fantastical characters, even if the plot and direction were a little off. The climax of the film was, while great to look at, was hard to make sense of. Aquaman, still running in theaters, has grossed 1.02 billion dollars.