Boardroom ranks the highest-grossing Marvel movies based on global box office success since Iron Man dropped in 2008.
Iron Man was the first film in 2008 as part of the MCU’s first phase. That’s where we first saw Robert Downey Jr. take on the iconic role of Tony Stark. The MCU is now in its fifth phase, which included the recent release of The Marvels, a film that marked the brand’s worst opening- and second-weekend box office performances in history. With a budget of $275 million, The Marvels has a lot of ground to make up, so Boardroom will keep tracking those numbers.
Regardless, Marvel Studios has cemented itself as a historic production house that has films and TV shows planned through 2027. For now, here’s a top 10 ranking of the highest-grossing Marvel movies by global box office numbers from Business Insider, with total domestic box office and opening weekend numbers reported by Box Office Mojo.
The Top 10 Highest-grossing Marvel Movies of All Time
While some domestic favorites like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ($453.8 million), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($411.3 million), and Spider-Man ($403.7 million) didn’t make Boardroom’s list, it’s simply because other Marvel films took over theaters worldwide.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Global box office: $1.1 billion
Domestic box office: $390.5 million
Spider-Man: Far From Home released in July 2019 at the height of Marvel’s cinematic dominance, following that March’s release of Captain Marvel and May’s Avengers: Endgame. It’s the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and for a big portion of the film, we see Tom Holland’s Peter Parker mourning the events of Avengers: Endgame. That soon changes when Peter Parker has to get back to his Spider-Man duties to battle supervillain Mysterio.
Spider-Man: Far From Home brought in $92.6 million on its domestic box office opening weekend.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Global box office: $1.1 billion
Domestic box office: $426.8 million
Captain Marvel hit theaters following the events of Avengers: Infinity War and right before Avengers: Endgame. While it was a good origin story for Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, the movie’s high performance at the box office probably came as fans were hyped up for Avengers: Endgame, which came out a month after Captain Marvel. The film was iconic in its own right because it was the first woman-led Marvel movie. Captain Marvel brought in $153.4 million in its domestic opening weekend.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Global box office: $1.2 billion
Domestic box office: $408.1 million
Captain America: Civil War posed an interesting plot that started with a disagreement over how the Avengers should be managed on a political level, which broke the band into two factions led by Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, more affectionately known as Captain America and Iron Man. Captain America: Civil War was the highest-grossing film of 2016, with other classics like Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Suicide Squad ranking underneath it. Luckily, the Avengers become one team again by the conclusion of the film, just in time for Doctor Strange’s entrance into the MCU.
Captain America: Civil War brought in $179.1 million on its domestic box office opening weekend.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Global box office: $1.2 billion
Domestic box office: $409.01 million
Iron Man 3 marked the third and final installment in the Iron Man trilogy, where Tony Stark battled anxiety and PTSD from the events of The Avengers. He builds multiple Iron Man suits to fight his personal troubles, which causes friction with his girlfriend, Pepper. Iron Man 3 was praised for its action sequences as Iron Man fights his personal battles and evil ones led by the film’s antagonist, the Mandarin. Iron Man 3 brought in $174.1 million in its domestic opening weekend, nearly half of what it brought in nationally.
Black Panther (2018)
Global box office: $1.3 billion
Domestic box office: $700.1 million
Black Panther outgrossed three Avengers movies domestically — a franchise that had long been the favorites in the MCU until the late Chadwick Boseman came into his iconic role as T’Challa. Black Panther made its mark worldwide as well, and much of its success is likely due to the film being the first Marvel production with a predominately Black cast. Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Letitia Wright, and Danai Gurira were some of the other renowned actors and actresses who helped make the memorable film.
Black Panther generated $202 million in its domestic box office opening weekend.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Global box office: $1.4 billion
Domestic box office: $459.01 million
All four Avengers films made this list, but it’s impressive to see them all rank in the top five based on global box office numbers. Avengers: Age of Ultron may be the lowest-ranked Avengers film of the bunch, but it still generated $1.4 billion from the global box office, $191.3 million of which came from its domestic box office opening weekend. Following the events of the first Avengers film, the pack gets back together to battle Ultron, an artificial intelligence-powered robotic supervillain that was originally created by Iron Man and the Hulk as part of a peacekeeping program.
The Avengers (2012)
Global box office: $1.5 billion
Domestic box office: $623.4 million
The Avengers really took superhero cinema to a new level when it brought Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, the Hulk, and Hawkeye under one umbrella to take on Thor’s evil brother (at the time), Loki and the Chitauri. Up until this point, MCU fans only saw most of these characters in small groups or singularly fighting battles in their respective solo films. While more superheroes joined the pack by the final Avengers film, these core six made up the original group.
The Avengers brought in a whopping $1.5 billion worldwide, $207.4 million of which came from its domestic box office opening.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Global box office: $1.9 billion
Domestic box office: $814.1 million (includes first release and re-release in 2022)
Spider-Man: No Way Home is Marvel’s second-highest-grossing movie of all time domestically, and it still made worldwide history, bringing in $1.9 billion overall, the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie out there. Now, there are many Spider-Man movies, and this film became so successful because it leveraged the multiverse to bring Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man iterations under one umbrella for a short period of time. Fans never imagined seeing all three Spider-Man franchises in one film, but Marvel did just that.
Spider-Man: No Way Home generated $260.1 million in its domestic box office opening, an impressive theater kick-off during a time when theaters struggled due to pandemic restrictions.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Global box office: $2.1 billion
Domestic box office: $678.8 million
Avengers: Infinity War was a setup for the end, and the top villain, Thanos, delivered the Avengers a loss they needed in order to get their minds right for the real thing. Fans watched as Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and other Avengers hunted for the six Infinity Stones that Thanos eventually got to wipe out half of the world population. Avengers: Infinity War holds the spot for Marvel’s second-highest-grossing movie worldwide.
The film generated $257.7 million in its domestic box office opening weekend.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Global box office: $2.8 billion
Domestic box office: $858.4 million
Avengers: Endgame dominated both the global and domestic box office — no surprise, since this film culminated in a final battle that the MCU was working toward for 11 years. It claimed the title of the highest-grossing movie ever worldwide until Avatar (2009) reclaimed its spot at the top with a re-release ahead of its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, in 2022. Avengers: Endgame brought in $357.1 million in its domestic opening weekend, a level of excitement Marvel hasn’t drawn in since as fans were eager to see what happened following the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
Avengers: Endgame remains the MCU’s highest-grossing film both across domestic and worldwide screens. Don’t expect that to change soon.
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