ByMichael Wrigglesworth, writer at Creators.co

This is the age where we're consistently seeing our favorite superheroes grace the big screen. Not only that, but the superhero genre has managed to breakout of the campy, one-dimensional stereotype often attached to it. These stories are successfully whetting the cinematic appetites of a vast and varied audience. In the last decade superhero movies have exploded in the box office, and it shows no signs of tapering off anytime soon. But what I'm curious to know, and perhaps you are too, is what movies have been met with the most success and why. So here are the top three lifetime grossing superhero movies so far according to box office mojo and my take on why they were successful.

So lets start with number three and work our way up!

3. Avengers: Age Of Ultron ($459,005,868)

While we didn't see anything groundbreaking, the second Avengers installment was a valiant effort on Joss Whedon's part, and is certainly nothing to sneeze at. After all, it's still in the top 3 grossing superhero movies of all time. There are a lot of moving parts in AOU, some of which were not very well explained (Ultron's origin, anyone?), but the acting is solid, the story line is decent and, if those two aren't enough, there's a plethora of awesome, eye-grabbing action sequences in this flick.

Face-off between Iron Man and the Hulk = the Best!
Face-off between Iron Man and the Hulk = the Best!

2. The Dark Knight ($534,858,444)

The Dark Knight is the only solo Superhero film to hit top three for lifetime gross; heck, it even beat out the most recent Avengers installment. I suppose the only explanation for that is...

Because he's Batman!
Because he's Batman!

The original plot, the superb acting and the dark, brooding overtones managed to keep me engaged for the entirety of the two and a half hour running time. In many ways, The Dark Knight Trilogy itself portrays Gotham City as a character in its own right. Specifically, The Dark Knight presents an excellent portrayal of how a city would respond to a real life superhero, and it does so without compromising the Batman mythos in the slightest; major props to WB for allowing Christopher Nolan to bring his own unique interpretation of the Batman universe to the table. In fact, it's had a lasting impact on the small and large screen years later. Ledger's rendition of Joker has become so renowned, you can see very prominent traces of him in both Cameron Monaghan's character and Jared Leto's Joker. In my humble opinion, The Dark Knight is the best superhero movie to date.

1. The Avengers ($623,357,910)

Surprised? Yeah, I didn't think so. The Avengers is absolutely everything a superhero movie should be. Apart from Cap's Halloween costume, this film is virtually flawless. It is unprecedented, not only because it's arguably one of the best cinematic stories told to date, but it is also the original superhero team up movie. Although Avengers: Age of Ultron failed to exceed audience expectations, it's only because it was lost in the shadows of its predecessor.

There you have it. Three incredible works of superhero cinema to date, not just from a fiscal standpoint, but also in terms of cinematic quality. Although you may not be a fan of superheroes, you can still appreciate the ingenuity and excellence these three movies bring to the table. Each boldly delves into various cinematic genres and carries with it a unique directorial stamp. I am pleased to see the superhero genre breaking major bank in the box office. But lets hope that, in the future, Hollywood will keep the quality of superhero films to come firmly in tact.

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