To date, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is composed of 20 films, 10 of which enjoyed an opening weekend of at least $100 million and 10 of which did not. With the looming arrival of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, the MCU is on the precipice of major box office bragging rights.
Early tracking numbers project the film to haul in north of that magic nine-figure number in its first weekend to become the second-biggest debut for a first-time standalone in the MCU behind just Black Panther ($201 million). Such an achievement would also mean that more than half of Marvel Studio’s releases have opened to at least $100 million, by far the greatest success rate in film history.
When compared to Hollywood’s marquee long-running franchises—Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond, Wizarding World and Batman—it becomes clear that the MCU is the single-most consistently successful franchise at the box office ever. Let’s run through the numbers while adjusting for inflation (note: there is no opening weekend financial information available on Box Office Mojo prior to the 1970s).
Even when accounting for inflation, none of the 13 Star Trek pictures nor the 13 James Bond films for which there is public box office data have crossed that magic mark in their opening weekend. Of the 10 live-action Star Wars films, just four have managed to do so. Three of the nine live-action Batman films can claim such lofty success.
The Wizarding World series comes the closest to the MCU in terms of consistency, with six of 10 films (counting the two Fantastic Beasts features) making the cut, but only after accounting for inflation. While that gives Harry Potter and the gang a better batting average, it comes on half of the output of the MCU. Overall, no film series has come close to matching Marvel’s consistency relative to its volume (April’s Avengers: Endgame is a near guarantee to wind up as 2019’s highest-grossing film overall).
Stay tuned for the tally when Captain Marvel launches into theaters on March 8.