The movies based on DC Comics have provided some of the most memorable superhero stories of all time. Marvel’s movies tend to get the most success and attention, but that doesn’t mean DC is not raking in the big bucks as well with many of their box office releases. Characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and many others have found tremendous popularity in all forms of media, including the movie industry.
We will look at the most successful films to feature DC superhero characters as the main source. The recent DC Extended Universe project is hoping to continue expanding, but the DC movies in general have been going strong for many decades. Fans love the superhero genre and it shows with the box office results. Find out just which received the most success as these are the ten highest-grossing DC films so far.
10 Shazam: $363 million
The 2019 film Shazam scored huge success for DC in the box office. Zachary Levi did a tremendous job playing the child turned superhero that is learning how to figure out his powers. The heartwarming backstory of a young boy trying to fit in with a new family added more depth to the story.
Shazam made an impressive $363 million internationally with fans enjoying it. This was one of the few superhero movies from the DC Extended Universe with an intentionally humorous side. A sequel is likely with the studio already in the developing stages.
9 Superman Returns: $374 million
The Superman franchise is one of the most popular and beloved of all the superheroes in the DC landscape. Superman Returns was released in 2006 and did extremely well at the box office with a worldwide grossing figure of $374 million.
Brandon Routh played Clark Kent aka Superman for this film and did well enough to bring people into the movie theaters. Many fans are still upset that Routh did not play Superman in the DCEU as Henry Cavill received the role for multiple movies.
8 Batman: $411 million
Many old school fans will still argue that the 1989 release of Batman is the greatest Batman related movie of all time. Michael Keaton did a tremendous job playing Bruce Wayne aka Batman in the film to start this run of movies for him. The Joker was also a bright spot with Jack Nicholson delivering a standout performance.
Batman made an incredible $411 million at the box office internationally as fans wanted to see the superhero on the big screen. This is by far the oldest of the top ten DC films which just makes it more impressive since movies today can rake in way more than they did in 1989.
7 Justice League: $652 million
It is almost impossible to say that a movie making $652 million at the box office was a disappointment, but the expectations were high for Justice League. This was the culmination of the DC Extended Universe’s first few films as they wanted it to become as successful as The Avengers for Marvel.
Justice League unfortunately received horrible reviews that led to many fans skipping out on seeing it. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and The Flash worked together for the first time on the big screen, but the movie finished lower in the top movies of 2017 than the studio expected.
6 Suicide Squad: $746 million
The critical reviews for most DC Extended Universe films featured negative reactions. Suicide Squad was the peak of the critics hating DC movies, but that didn’t prevent it from thriving at the box office. Will Smith, Margot Robbie and a few others made up the cast playing anti-heroes.
This was a unique film as the typically bad characters were forced to work together to save the world. Suicide Squad made an impressive $746 million as a top movie thanks to the appeal of the unique story. The colorful nature of the movie along with an unpredictable plot certainly helped it out.
5 Wonder Woman: $821 million
The box office results of Wonder Woman at the box office showed just how much interest there was for the female superhero character. It found massive success with the movie raking in $821 million internationally. Gal Gadot reprised the role coming off a prior DC appearance in Batman vs Superman.
Wonder Woman looked at the character’s backstory and fans came out in droves to see just how deep the story went. The DCEU received its first movie to find both box office and critical success. Wonder Woman 2 is already highly anticipated with a release coming in 2021.
4 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: $867 million
The concept of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice created huge excitement within the movie industry. It was the first time we would get to witness the two biggest DC superheroes facing off against each other in a huge box office movie.
The excitement started to dwindle quickly with trailers finding disappointment and critical reviews blasting the movie for a lack of common sense in the story. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice still managed to find success at the box office bringing in $867 million. Even though many fans to see it make fun of the film to this day, you can’t deny that level of box office success.
3 The Dark Knight: $1 billion
The trilogy of Batman movies produced, directed and written by Christopher Nolan created a huge surge of interest in superhero films. Many fans will still argue that The Dark Knight is the greatest superhero film of all time given the level of drama and emotion involved in the story.
The late Heath Ledger received rave reviews for a superb job playing The Joker. Christian Bale also had another stellar performance as Bruce Wayne aka Batman. The Dark Knight made an incredible $1 billion internationally and was the talk of the movie industry in the summer of 2008.
2 The Dark Knight Rises: $1.08 billion
The Dark Knight Rises made slightly more than The Dark Knight to pass it as the highest-grossing film of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. There was a massive hype of fans wanting to see how the story ended after The Dark Knight impressed the fan base.
Despite the reviews not impressing as much as The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises did manage to pass it with a little over $1.08 billion at the box office international. The additions of Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake added more star power to help it dominate the box office.
1 Aquaman: $1.1 billion
The success of Aquaman was a bit surprising given it made an incredible $1.1 billion at the box office internationally. Jason Momoa reprised the role of Aquaman for a deeper look at his story after his first appearance as part of the Justice League.
There was a bit of negativity associated with the DC Extended Universe heading into the release that had pundits wondering if it would do well. Aquaman dominated the box office and showed that fans had an interest in the new character. There is already confirmation that a sequel for Aquaman is in the works.