What Are the Top 15 MCU Blockbusters Ever?
Today we discuss the Top 15 MCU blockbusters ever released by Marvel Studios
Remember movie theaters? Those were the places we used to go before Netflix started streaming on our phones.
Back in the days of our great-great-grandparents, people would watch classic cinema in buildings, not in their cars at red lights.
I’m kidding…mostly. Thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home, movie theaters are a thing again, even though you may have forgotten them.
15) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Before we get started, let’s talk about the rules. First, this isn’t a list of the biggest Marvel movies ever. If it were, Thor: Ragnarok wouldn’t make the list.
Instead, we’re only discussing MCU titles, ones that include the members of The Avengers. So, Fox films with the X-Men or Deadpool don’t count.
Similarly, Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy doesn’t make the cut, either.
If someone never fought Thanos, they’re probably not on this list.
For this reason, Captain America: The Winter Soldier makes the cut by earning $714 million worldwide against a production budget of $170 million.
Note that if we had made this a domestic box office countdown, The Winter Soldier wouldn’t have finished in the top 15. It’s actually 17th in that category.
14) Guardians of the Galaxy
I haven’t adjusted for box office inflation since we’re discussing global revenue. Calculations wouldn’t be reliable for the international box office.
For this reason, older MCU movies will struggle to appear higher on the list. Their ticket prices simply didn’t cost as much.
I’m saying this because #14 and #12 will make some of you angry, at least due to the ordering.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie grossed $773 million against a $170 budget. It’s one of the biggest box office shockers in MCU history.
13) Thor: Ragnarok
My wife swears that this is the best MCU movie to date, which just makes me want to make her watch The Winter Soldier again.
Still, in terms of box office, she has a better argument. The third Thor movie grossed $854 million but cost only $180 million to produce.
12) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Hey, I told you that you wouldn’t like this news. Yes, the less popular sequel earned more than the first film in the franchise.
Vol. 2 claimed nearly $864 million, albeit at a higher cost of $200 million to create.
I see this as justice served since I’ll die on the hill that Vol. 2. is the vastly superior film.
11) Spider-Man: Homecoming
What this list will show is that Tom Holland has starred in a freak-ton of blockbusters for a 25-year-old. Seriously, his resume is incredible.
All three of Holland’s Spider-Man movies will appear on this list. Among them, Homecoming is the “worst” performer with $880 million in global revenue.
Amusingly, Holland films will show up on this list five more times, meaning that he’s in more than half of the MCU’s top 11 titles.
You can give him the Sony asterisk if you want, but the money still counts.
10) Captain Marvel
I previously discussed the shocking success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Two other titles on this list rival and realistically surpass it in this regard.
Captain Marvel is one of those two projects. This title certainly didn’t look like a billion-dollar earner on paper, but that’s precisely what happened.
Captain Marvel earned nearly $1.13 billion worldwide against a budget of $160 million.
Numbers don’t lie. Ignoring sequels, only one other standalone Marvel movie earned more.
9) Spider-Man: Far from Home
Historically, movie sequels have opened better than their predecessors but ultimately earned less money overall.
Tom Holland’s popularity supersedes such conventions. Each of his Spider-Man movies has earned more than the last one.
Far from Home claimed slightly over $1.13 billion against a $160 million budget. Holland’s money, y’all.
8) Captain America: Civil War
Speaking of which, here’s the movie where he debuted as Peter Parker. Civil War worked as a de facto Avengers movie, even though the name wasn’t in the title.
Audiences figured out the deal anyway, allowing Civil War to gross a staggering $1.15 billion.
However, the budget for this one reached $250 million, reflecting the fact that a cast like this doesn’t come cheap.
7) Iron Man 3
This one may have caught you off-guard. Fans generally bemoan Iron Man 3 as a lesser MCU title.
Still, I can explain the tremendous achievement of its box office. This title followed Marvel’s The Avengers as the next significant MCU project.
For this reason, fans treated it as a de facto sequel. Ergo, Iron Man 3 earned a massive $1.2 million against a $200 million budget.
Robert Downey Jr.’s MCU box office is like Tom Holland on steroids.
6) Black Panther
Here’s the performance that still stuns me several years later.
Black Panther claims the best combination of great timing and high quality of any title we’ll discuss today.
Fans fell in love with Wakanda after already adoring the late Chadwick Boseman. For this reason, they were buying everything that Black Panther was selling.
The film grossed $1.3 billion against a $200 million budget. In fact, it did so well that it caused an outsized impact on a Disney quarterly earnings report.
Disney executives had to explain why Wall Street analysts shouldn’t expect a similar performance again. Black Panther skewed the prospectus that much!
5) Avengers: Age of Ultron
Okay, you probably would have guessed the top four in some order.
The presence of Age of Ultron may surprise you. It’s a common-sense deal, though. Anything with Avengers in the title has absolutely wrecked the box office.
Yes, the final cut of Age of Ultron comes with some editing miscues and other stuff. Still, it introduced us to Wanda Maximoff! What more could you want?*
The Avengers sequel grossed $1.4 billion against a $250 million budget. And the numbers will only get crazier from here.
* = Yes, I know she appeared in a post-credits scene in an earlier movie.
4) Marvel’s The Avengers
If we did adjust for inflation, The Avengers would do even better. I say this to reinforce the mind-blowing success of the first joint Avengers project.
Ten years ago, Marvel brought Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Hawkeye together.
The results speak for themselves as the $220 million project earned $1.5 billion, making it the third-most successful movie ever to that point.
3) Spider-Man: No Way Home
Okay, this number’s still in flux, as No Way Home continues to run in theaters. It probably will for several more months.
International exhibitors tend to allow the most popular films to stay indefinitely.
At the moment, the most recent Spider-Man movie stands at nearly $1.9 billion. That’s good enough for number six all-time in global box office!
Also, No Way Home gets an asterisk or extra credit or whatever you want to call it. This film came out during a pandemic. So, its box office is artificially deflated!
Yes, in better circumstances, No Way Home could have earned even more!!!
2) Avengers: Infinity War
You probably knew what the top two would be, but the lack of surprise about the ordering doesn’t change anything. It’s still remarkable how well these films did.
2018’s Infinity War is the fifth-most successful film ever with global revenue of $2.05 billion. Notably, it earned nearly $1.37 billion internationally!
You can glance at the list to see why that’s a big deal. Infinite War earned more from overseas revenue than all but the top five MCU films managed overall!
1) Avengers: Endgame
I mean, you knew what would win. Avengers: Endgame stood in the sun as the biggest blockbuster ever for a time.
Later, a re-release of Avatar allowed that title to reclaim the throne. Still, the difference between the two projects is a fractional $48 million.
Avengers: Endgame has earned nearly $2.8 billion, while Avatar’s re-release brought its total to $2.846 billion.
If/when Disney puts Avengers: Endgame back in theaters, it seems likely to return to the top spot.
Marvel called its shot here by building an entire roadmap for the various Avengers. Then, it built to a climactic two-movie battle.
Those projects, Infinity War and Endgame, netted $4.85 billion. For comparison, Star Wars’ best two box office blockbusters have totaled less than $3.4 billion.
That’s how much the MCU has lapped the rest of the field! And that’s our list of Top 15 MCU Blockbusters of all time! Let us know what you think