Highest and Lowest Grossing Marvel Films of All time

Highest and Lowest Grossing Marvel Films of All time

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In preparation for the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we have taken a look at the highest and lowest grossing Marvel films of all time. Could The Amazing Spider-Man 2 be another box office smash for Marvel?


1. Marvel’s The Avengers

Budget: $220 million
Gross: $1.51 billion

This is the pinnacle of Marvel’s achievements, bringing together some of the planets biggest Hollywood stars and superheroes. The film was the largest grossing of all time for Marvel, with award nominations from BAFTA and Academy Awards. The recruitment of Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor had the fans drooling at the prospect of this all-star superhero team. The fans pushed the Avengers to the third highest grossing film of all time behind James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar.

2. Iron Man 3

Budget: $200 million
Gross: $1.2 billion

Robert Downey Jr returned for a third instalment in 2013 and smashed all previous Iron Man box office records. The overall figures made the film the second highest grossing film of 2013, which was a testament to the dedication of the true Iron Man fans. A conflict between Paramount and The Walt Disney Company over distribution rights made negotiations for the film difficult. This was settled as Disney agreed to pay paramount around $110 million dollars for the worldwide distribution rights of Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. This looks like being the right investment, with both films bringing in over $2.5 billion.

3. Spider-Man 3

Budget: $140 million
Gross: $890 million

Notice a pattern? It seems like third instalments perform the best, with Spider-Man 3 coming in as the next highest grossing film. Peter Parker returned to the streets of New York City with a darker side to his personality. The release of Spider-Man 3 was possibly the most anticipated of all, with a large amount of interest gained through the high DVD sales of the two previous films. Fans were anxious to see the dark side of Spider-Man and the effect this may have on New York’s favourite vigilante. This film was Sony Pictures second most successful production, only beaten by Skyfall.


1. Punisher: War Zone

Budget: $35 million
Gross: $10.1 million

This was the third Marvel film to feature The Punisher character but was deemed a massive flop after making a substantial loss. The film reached number 8 in the US box office on its opening weekend which for a film shown in over 2500 cinemas is a disappointing climax. The future plans for the Punisher are undecided, with the rights now being handed back to Marvel. Some blame poor marketing of the film for its failure, as some critics hailed the film a massive success.

2. Howard the Duck

Budget: $37 million
Gross: $38 million

Slim profits for the 1986 film make it one of Marvel’s earlier disappointments. You may expect to associate inadequacy with the legend that is George Lucas, but his role as producer on this film was not enough to make it a success with the viewers. The film was received negatively by not only the paying public but the critics as well, with many still regarding it one of the worst films of all time. This is not the type of film we are used to seeing from the modern day Marvel, and it’s probably just as well they learnt from their mistakes!

3. Elektra

Budget: $43 million
Gross: $57 million

An abysmal rating of 4.8/10 on the Internet Movie Database sums up the public reaction to this film. With criticisms ranging from poor actor performances to ineffective plot lines the critical reception was unforgiving. Elektra was released in 2005 and followed Batman Begins, Fantastic Four and Sky High, all of which outperformed it at the box office.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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