4 of 2016’s Highest Box Office Earners Are Comic Book Adaptations

Captain America: Civil War

In some ways Anthony and Joe Russo are the comic-to-film saviors of 2016. Their complex picture, based on an amazing comic arc, Civil War had audiences totally and completely captivating. There are so many internal conflicts in the pic that it’s nearly impossible to avoid being sucked into this explosive picture.

Like Batman vs. Superman, Civil War is a very straight forward, serious affair. This isn’t a film loaded with 100 Tony Stark punchlines or tongue in cheek laughs, it’s a serious story, forcing the heroes of the Marvel world to question their position in society. Are they causing more harm than good? Should the heroes of the world have no one to answer to?

A great film that offers up a slew of new wrinkles for this group, Captain America: Civil War (which could have easily been labeled Avengers 3, if you’re not familiar with the books) was a success on all levels. Which is exactly why Captain America: Civil War is thus far the highest grossing film of the year, obviously leading the comic pack. Civil War sold more than $405 million at the domestic box office. It added an additional $743 million in other countries, leaving the film with a worldwide mark of $1.1 billion.

X-Men: Apocalypse

And finally we have the most recently released comic film, X-Men: Apocalypse. The film has left fans and critics alike thoroughly confused. Some love the film, some feel it fell far short of an X-Men film that features one of their most dangerous and imposing foes. To a degree, I can get behind that. When it was announced that Apocalypse would be the big baddie in the new X-Men movie, I was ecstatic. But, something was admittedly missing from the film, which is a damn shame. Apocalypse deserved his greatest chance to shine in a defining comic book film.

Well, the time to shine has come and past, but X-Men: Apocalypse was far from a commercial dud. The film made $153 million domestically. It fared much better overseas, selling an additional $375 million for a total tally of $529 million. As of now it remains the seventh highest box office earner in 2016.

Here’s a final summary

First Place: Captain America: Civil War earned a total $1.1 billion against a budget of $250 million.

Third Place: Deadpool earned a total $783 million against a budget of $58 million.

Sixth Place: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earned a total $872 million against a budget of $250 million.

Seventh Place: X-Men: Apocalypse earned $529 million against a budget of $178 million.

From a commercial, or fiscal stance, not a single one of these films can be regarded as anything other than a successful picture. The fact that four of the 10 highest grossing films of the year are comic book adaptations says a lot for the film genre and its meteoric rise in popularity.

Marvel, DC and a few other major comic publishers (here’s looking at you, Dark Horse) are going to continue delivering must-see material. The films are consistently proving successful, and fans are only finding themselves more hooked as the Marvel and DC universes continue to expand and welcome some of our favorite characters.


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