With Avengers: Age of Ulron coming off the second biggest North American opening of all time (second only to its direct predecessor) and already sitting at over $600 million worldwide, the MCU has unseated Harry Potter as the richest film franchise on the planet. Given Marvel’s ambitious roadmap for phase 3, it’s not likely that any of its competitors will be able to topple them any time soon. If Marvel can maintain the consistent quality of their releases, they’ll easily avoid a feeling of over-saturation and maintain the seemingly timeless appeal of their nigh-peerless roster of characters on the big screen.
They’re sitting on top of quite a pack of excellent franchises too, so it must be feeling pretty good to own Marvel at this point. Harry Potter, James Bond, and Middle Earth are among the list of their immediate peers, with DC no doubt foaming at the mouth at the potential box office takes for their own cinematic universe. It’s yet to be seen if anything other than Batman can stand up to Marvel’s movies at all though, so I’m not thinking it wise to bank on them catching up either.
The top five grossing film franchises are:
1. Marvel Cinematic Universe – $7.787 billion
2. Harry Potter – $7.723 billion
3. James Bond – $6.160 billion
4. Middle-earth – $5.880 billion
5. Star Wars – $4.382 billion
I expect big things from Abram’s Star Wars trilogy and James Bond is a sure hit at the box office with the upcoming Specter, so they may rise above the as of now complete Harry Potter and Middle Earth franchise sooner or later. Still, MCU should remain the top dog if they keep up the excellent, crowd pleasing work throughout their slate of phase 3 films.