My Pre-Avengers Endgame Data Deep Dive

I will soon be watching Avengers:Endgame. It will be the climax to the 22 episode Marvel soap opera that started with Iron Man in 2008. The franchise has kept us engaged throughout. This loyalty has helped us endure the lows of Thor 2: Dark World and Incredible Hulk and been rewarded with the highs of Thor:Ragnarok, Black Panther and Infinity Wars. Being a movie data junkie, I thought I check the ratings and box office grosses of these movies to see whether I agree with them.

The best rated Avengers film

My first stop is to look at the reviews of the 5 Avengers movies (I count Captain America: Civil War as an Avengers movie). User reviews from IMDb rate them in this order:

  1. Avengers: Endgame (9.2)
  2. Avengers: Infinity Wars (8.5)
  3. The Avengers (8.1)
  4. Captain America: Civil War (7.8)
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (7.3)

Critics reviews from Rotten Tomatoes have them in this order:

  1. Avengers: Endgame (97%)
  2. The Avengers (92%)
  3. Captain America: Civil War (91%)
  4. Avengers: Infinity Wars (85%)
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (75%)

So there seems to be a consensus that Endgame is the best, which is exciting! While Age of Ultron is the worst, which I’d agree with. In terms of the others, I’d lean closer to the critics rankings – Infinity Wars was good but it felt inconclusive (it was part one of a two-parter). Meanwhile, I do rate Civil War as it drew out the political differences between the characters rather than just their ego clashes.

Top grossing Marvel film

Now on to the money. This may surprise many, but the highest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie in the US is actually Black Panther not one of the Avengers movies. The top five US grosses are:

  1. Black Panther ($700mn)
  2. Avengers: Infinity War ($679mn)
  3. The Avengers ($623mn)
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($459mn)
  5. Iron Man 3 ($409mn)

But we know that these sorts of movies make most money outside of the US, and the worldwide grosses put the Avengers movies on top. The bar chart shows that the top worldwide grossing MCU movie is Avengers:Infinity War which made a whopping $2 billion.

What about other superhero films?

As a movie buff, I have to remind us that there are other superhero movies outside of the MCU universe too! Notably, we have the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeves, the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. So let’s look at the inflation-adjusted US box office grosses of all superhero movies. Here’s the top-ten list:

So three MCU movies feature in the top ten, but thankfully there is space for others. Dark Knight comes in at #3 and Dark Knight Rises at #9, the original Michael Keaton Batman comes in at #7, two Toby Maguire Spidermans come in at #5 and #8. And the list is rounded off with Incredibles 2 at #6 and Christopher Reeve’s Superman at #10. I’d agree with all of them featuring in the top ten, though I’m less keen on the Spiderman movies (time has not been kind to them).

The bottom line is that it may seem like the MCU universe has taken over the film industry, but history suggests otherwise. Anyway, for now, at least its MCU for me as I prepare to watch Endgame!


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