Iron Man. The Incredible Hulk. Thor. Once the gem of only comic book readers, these heroes (and many others) have taken the world by storm in recent years. Marvel Studios has done a fantastic job building up their own universe of movies (dubbed the "Marvel Cinematic Universe"). All of the films are set in the same universe as one another, so stories and events in one movie span and affect other movies as well.
This formula of a connected universe has paid dividends for Marvel. Listed below are the top 10 domestic box office grosses of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Note: Avengers: Age of Ultron is not listed at the time of this writing. "Phase One" films refer to all films released from the original Iron Man to The Avengers. "Phase Two" refers to any films released after The Avengers.
UPDATE: It was only a matter of time before the Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, would pass its predecessor in the international market. Reaching $900 million internationally, the film has conquered its predecessor by $5 million dollars (and it has only been out a month as of this writing). Domestically, Avengers: Age of Ultron still trails the first film.
10 The Incredible Hulk -- $134.8 million
9 Captain America: The First Avenger -- $176.6 million
8 Thor -- $181 million
7 Thor: The Dark World -- $206.3 million
6 Captain America: The Winter Soldier -- $257.9 million
5 Iron Man 2 -- $312.4 million
4 Iron Man -- $318.4 million
3 Guardians of the Galaxy -- $333.1 million
2 Iron Man 3 -- $409 million
1 The Avengers -- $623.3 million
When the concept for the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first conceived, it was built around one idea: assembling the Avengers. Since the Avengers had never been seen in a real-life adaption, the studio thought the films would either tank hard and kill off the superhero movie or become a massive success. Luckily for Marvel Studios, they nailed it. With all of the films in Phase One introducing and fleshing out the characters that would make up the Avengers, audiences were given a treat for the ages as all of the characters' stories crossed paths. It almost feels like a grand finale when you finally get to see all of the individual pieces fit together in the film. The math worked out well for Marvel, as The Avengers brought in a ridiculous $623.3 million in the U.S. alone. Concluding Phase One, the film cemented itself in both cinematic history and the lore of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sources: boxofficemojo.com, wikipedia.org, cinemablend.com
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