This movie site analyzes Marvel vs DC at the box office with all kinds of pie charts and bar graphs. Not too much that isn’t readily intuited — basically marvel is all smiles for ’07 with Spidey 3 and FF2 on tap, while DC is holding off until 08 for the next Batman film.


  1. I’m always annoyed when an article such as this forgets to adjust for inflation, so here’s a more useful box-office list:

    As you can see there, the top comics movies are 1- Spider-Man, 2- Batman, 3- Spider-Man II, 4 – Superman.

    Also, Men In Black is not only a comics movie, but it’s also technically a Marvel movie (the Marvel logo is at the end of the credits if you don’t believe me!), and they have costumes so I’m calling it a super-hero movie – sue me. Which affects things somewhat because it’s clear up at #75 all-time, putting it at #5 on the Marvel/DC list.

    None of which changes the premise of the article, or even the conclusions, but it brings the numbers of the two companies a lot closer, and makes them a bit more useful, historically. And I didn’t have anything else to do for the last 10 minutes…

  2. i mentioned in this post that inflation would change things, but still, even with inflation, marvel still has the edge. superman the movie would bring about $250 million more modern day bucks, but was still beat by an unadjusted spider-man. batman would bring an additional $150 million, but when you adjust all the marvel movies, they still win out. if the inflated data for all of the films were readily available, i would have compiled it, but i was really just attempting to paint a general picture of the market share breakdown.

  3. Agreed, CC. I was mostly just venting a pet peeve about movie box office, and the meaningless “records” we constantly hear about. As I said, your premise and conclusions are demonstrably unaffected by the adjustments.

    And while I’m writing – hey what about those movies that -didn’t- do so well? An interesting thing is that (in my subjective opinion) the Marvel box-office dogs are generally much better movies than the DC under-performers. Even Elektra didn’t really suck that much (once you divorce it from the comics) and I actually liked the Punisher and even Blade: Trinity.

    On the other hand, Supergirl was one of the worst movies of all time, and then they actually topped themselves with Catwoman, a movie I’m franky embarassed to admit I watched. I never saw Steel, but from the looks of this chart… no one else did either.

  4. Actually I just went through and adjusted all the films using the MPAA’s average ticket price for each year, and it’s DC who has had the greater market share.

    The DC films listed had total paid admissions of 374.3 million (52.4%) vs. Marvel’s paid admissions of 340 million (47.6%).

    DC’s average ticket is only $4.19 (about 1991 level) vs. Marvel’s average ticket of $5.99 (about 2003 level).

    Here is the rank of paid admissions by film –

    Spider-Man 2
    Batman Forever
    Batman Returns
    Superman II
    Batman Begins
    Superman Returns
    Fantastic Four
    Batman and Robin
    Superman III
    Blade II
    Blade: Trinity
    Superman IV
    Batman MOTP