Summer is over, and with it, the onslaught of comic-book franchises has pretty much come to a close. Guardians of the Galaxy is still moving along with ticket sales a month after its release, but now it's safe for us to take a step back and see how the dust settled.
Earlier this year, I made the prediction that X-Men: Days of Future Past would be the biggest box office success for comic book movies, and the competition was fierce. Was I right or wrong?
It's important to note, of course, that the biggest film of the year wasn't a superhero film. Transformers: Age of Extinction made an impressive (and unsurprising) $1 billion, distancing itself from the competition. Blame it on IMAX prices, Michael Bay, or Wahlbergers, if you want. The fact is that this franchise brings in some serious money.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Now on to comic book films. The first of the Marvel films to release was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which shocked audiences, critics and fans who had thought Captain America to be only a modest success. But it turned out that Winter Soldier was destined to become one of Marvel's best films ever (if not the best in the eyes of some).
And that critical acclaim turned into box office gold. The sequel went on to make $714 million worldwide. Not bad for an April film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Next to release was Sony's latest iteration of the Webhead. The Amazing Spider-man 2 was a stellar sequel that made believers out of Andrew Garfield doubters, but how does it stack up overall?
Well it narrowly lost out to Winter Soldier. TASM2 made an impressive $708 million when all was said and done, though we don't know how much it cost to make the film (or how much Sony poured into marketing). Still, that's a splendid haul.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
And then we have X-Men: Days of Future Past, which released not too long after TASM2. The film was well-received and is considered to be the revival Fox needed for their promising X-Men real estate, but did audiences come out to see it?
Yes. In fact, it is the year's biggest superhero film yet. And it will probably remain that way. DOFP brought in $745 million worldwide. Factoring in its budget and marketing, the film probably ran away with about $300 million in profit already. Told you so.
Guardians of the Galaxy
But wait! The year wasn't over yet. We had a quiet summer, at first, in terms of comic-book movies, but that all changed with the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy in August. Though it's not technically a superhero film, it is still based on a comic book and exists alongside super heroic characters. So how has it done in just a month?
Pretty good, and it's getting better. After performing surprisingly well over the quiet holiday weekend, GOTG pushed its total to $554 million. In terms of just domestic box office, it's the highest-grossing film of the year.
And it's not done. GOTG has yet to open in several foreign markets, including China, Japan, Germany and others. These markets added about $150 million to Captain America's sequel earlier this year, and with a quieter release schedule slated for September, GOTG could pull off the same if not more.
If it can pull off good numbers internationally, then GOTG will easily edge past TASM2, but it will take a really impressive month overseas for it to reach #1 in the world.
So who will win? Sadly, we probably won't know until October or even November. But I think we can safely say it's been a great year for superhero films. And that's without any great D.C. offerings.