ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

There may not be an Avengers movie out until 2015, but all still looks rosy for Marvel Comics - 2014 looks set to be their greatest year to date. For the first time ever, three movies originating from a single creative source are sitting atop the worldwide box office charts for the year to date - all of them Marvel.

What's all the more fascinating is that the three films come from three different studios - but all bear that distinctive Marvel seal. So far, Captain America: The Winter Soldier leads the way with $709.3 million worldwide, with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 close behind on $690 million, and the more recently released X-Men: Days of Future Past on $500.2 million.

Wolverine is getting seriously sweaty in that gear.
Wolverine is getting seriously sweaty in that gear.

The three are also the only films to break $500 million worldwide so far this year - and with Guardians of the Galaxy set for release in August, there's a very real possibility that the year's box office will be defined by Marvel Comics.

This all got us thinking about some of Marvel's most remarkable box office achievements of the past few years - and about what's coming next.

The Avengers Break All the Records

 A man totally ready to break things...
A man totally ready to break things...

They really do:

  • After the biggest domestic opening of all time ($207.4 million), The Avengers reached $300 million after only 9 days of release, on it's way to a record $103.2 million second weekend haul.
  • It's ultimate total of $623.4 million domestic, and $895.2 million internationally place it third on both all time box office lists, behind only Avatar and Titanic.
  • That's a total worldwide gross of £1.5 billion for those who are counting, which puts it third worldwide, too.
  • Even its trailer got in on the action, setting a record for the most views on iTunes, with 13.7 million views in it's first 24 hours online.

Iron Man and Captain America haven't been shy about breaking stuff themselves either:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier recently took the record for largest opening weekend in April.
  • Iron Man 3 may not have taken the top spot with it's box office haul, but it's only lagging behind The Avengers in terms of largest opening weekends ever.

And the non-Marvel Studios releases may lag behind in individual records, but that doesn't mean they're out for the count:

  • The first and third Spider-Man films blew away the competition in their respective years, finishing atop 2002 and 2007's annual box office totals.
  • Marvel Comic-based movies have, together, totaled over $6.3 billion dollars at the US box office alone.
  • Even including Howard the Duck, Daredevil and Elektra, that averages out to around $187 million dollars a film. Between 34 movies.

What Comes Next?

The most intriguing thing of all, though, is that Marvel movies - especially those produced by Marvel Studios - have almost without fail out-grossed the previous the previous entry in each of their respective series.

With The Avengers making $623 million domestically, this could mean The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to do something really quite remarkable.

Even more remarkable than this. Believe it or not.
Even more remarkable than this. Believe it or not.

Avatar's domestic gross, the highest of all time, is $760 million. If Age of Ultron were to make just $150 million more than the first film at the US box office, it would take that crown with room to spare. While Avatar's $2.7 billion worldwide take (vs The Avengers $1.5 billion) could prove impossible to match, even James Cameron must surely be looking over his shoulder, waiting for an eventual Marvel approach.

This year could also see - should Transformers: Age of Extinction perform poorly - four Marvel movies topping the box office charts, but there are some less conventional records Marvel could yet set in the next few years.

Some of them hopefully involving this guy.
Some of them hopefully involving this guy.

August 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy registers the largest opening weekend for a movie starring a talking, gun-toting, Bradley Cooper-voiced raccoon.

April 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron breaks all of the records ever, just like it's predecessor. This includes several sprinting records, including Michael Johnson's world and Olympic record in the 400m.

May 2016: Captain America 3 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are released on the same day, and together make more money than any weekend in cinema history. Even Howard the Duck.

November 2019: The Avengers 3 is released, and is inadvertently entered into several special Congressional races. Joss Whedon and Robert Downey Jr reluctantly take up seats in the House of Representatives.

November 2024: With voters thrilled by Downey Jr's willingness to face down the majority whip whilst wearing Iron Man armor, he and Whedon run for President on an Avengers 4 platform, and win. A bio-engineered Hulk, created to reduce CGI costs, is hailed as "the finest Secretary of State in years".

April 2030: Skynet finally takes over, having been bought out by Disney three years earlier.

Definitely going to be a thing.
Definitely going to be a thing.

[The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) is set to be released April 23, 2015. Thankfully we have nothing to fear from it other than wetting our pants through sheer excitement.


What do you guys think? What record will a Marvel movie break next?



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