- Marvel movies have dominated the domestic box office, with the highest-grossing films all coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Iron Man 3, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Captain Marvel are among the top-grossing Marvel films domestically.
- Avengers: Endgame holds the title for the highest-grossing Marvel film of all time, both domestically and worldwide, with over $2.7 billion in total earnings.
Marvel movies have long been dominant at the domestic box office, from entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to outside franchises, but which are the highest-grossing of all time? Since 2008 and the creation of the MCU with Iron Man, superhero movies have become a staple of the box office. While earlier series’ like Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men, and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy were all successful, the MCU and the franchises that spawned from it solidified superhero cinema as a prime money-making model for studios that will undoubtedly continue with the Marvel movies releasing in 2024.
While Marvel movies have often seen record-breaking success at the worldwide box office resulting in several MCU movies that made over $1 billion, films based on the popular comic book franchise have found equal success domestically. Interestingly, the 10 highest-grossing Marvel movies domestically are exclusively films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This makes sense given Disney’s franchise saw a sustained period of overwhelming success between 2012 and 2019. That said, while the 10 highest-grossing domestic Marvel movies of all time may differ slightly from the worldwide rankings – as per Box Office Mojo – they nonetheless prove Marvel’s continued dominance in North America.
10 Iron Man 3 (2013)
Coming in as the tenth highest-grossing Marvel film of all time domestically is 2013’s Iron Man 3. The third and final installment in the Iron Man trilogy, Iron Man 3 saw Tony Stark going up against the villainous Mandarin while dealing with the PTSD of his encounter with Loki and the Chitauri in 2012’s The Avengers. Releasing in the aforementioned period of dominance for Marvel, Iron Man 3 performed exceptionally well at the domestic box office, pulling in a total haul of $409,013,994. This aided the movie in earning $1.2 billion worldwide which means Iron Man 3 is still the seventh highest-grossing MCU movie worldwide to date.
9 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
The ninth highest-grossing Marvel movie domestically is the second-most recent installment on this list: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The first Doctor Strange was a solid if not overwhelming success for Marvel Studios, grossing around $670 million worldwide. The film’s sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, drastically improved on its predecessor by grossing almost a billion dollars worldwide. Domestically, Doctor Strange 2 pulled in a total of $411,331,607, besting Iron Man 3 by around $2 million in the United States and Canada.
8 Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel was released at the height of Marvel’s power as the film that directly preceded the culmination of the Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame. As such, a film that was regarded as a serviceably solid origin story for its titular character arguably over-performed at the box office. Surprisingly, Captain Marvel grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide, likely aided by its proximity to Avengers: Endgame and the film being the first female-led Marvel project. Much of this worldwide total came from domestic territories, with Captain Marvel besting Doctor Strange 2 by around $15 million for a domestic total of $426,829,839.
7 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The most recent release on this list and the seventh highest-grossing Marvel movie of all time domestically is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The film had big shoes to fill after the smash hit of its predecessor, only heightened by the tragic loss of star Chadwick Boseman amid the sequel’s production. As it turns out, director Ryan Coogler delivered an emotionally satisfying, heartfelt tribute to Boseman in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a film that resonated with domestic audiences. The film earned $453,829,060 in North America, propelling the film to a worldwide total of around $859 million.
6 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Unsurprisingly, every single Avengers movie released by Marvel Studios features on this list, with the second installment coming in last. Despite its placement alongside its peers, Avengers: Age of Ultron is still the sixth highest-grossing Marvel movie of all time domestically. A worldwide total of $1.4 billion saw the film become an instant success, aided by the domestic haul of $459,005,868, just edging out Black Panther 2 by around $6 million. With such an impressive domestic total, Avengers: Age of Ultron rounds out the bottom half of the domestically highest-grossing Marvel movies ever made.
5 The Avengers (2012)
Easily beating its successor as the fifth highest-grossing Marvel movie of all time domestically is 2012’s The Avengers. Given that the film was a then-unprecedented culmination of disparate franchises, The Avengers broke all kinds of domestic box office records upon its release in 2012. This saw the film rocket to a domestic total of $623,357,910 which helped The Avengers on its way to gross a worldwide haul of $1.5 billion. The domestic total of The Avengers towers above the five films below it, grossing almost $200 million more in the U.S. and Canada than its sequel and solidifying the film’s groundbreaking nature for superhero cinema.
4 Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Marking an entry into the top four of the highest-grossing Marvel movies of all time domestically is Avengers: Infinity War. The culmination of three phases of interconnected Marvel movies meant that Infinity War was more of an event than a movie release. The records broken at the box office evidenced this, as did the $2 billion worldwide total the film pulled in. The film is still the second highest-grossing MCU movie worldwide and currently the sixth highest-grossing film in history. Concerning a domestic total, Avengers: Infinity War earned $678,815,482 which sees it as the fourth highest-grossing Marvel film in North American history.
3 Black Panther (2018)
As alluded to, Black Panther was an overwhelming success for Marvel, outgrossing three Avengers movies domestically. As of 2023, Black Panther and its sequel account for two of only six MCU movies in which their domestic gross outweighs their worldwide total. This proves just how much Black Panther resonated with domestic audiences likely due to being one of the first predominantly black MCU productions concerning its cast and behind-the-scenes crew with a story steeped in African-American culture. As such, Black Panther earned a total of $700,059,566 domestically which, when combined with around $650 million from other territories, aided the film in earning a worldwide total of over $1.3 billion.
2 Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Earning the silver medal as the second highest-grossing Marvel movie of all time domestically is Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film made full use of its multiversal premise by bringing together three iconic Spider-Man franchises: Tobey Maguire’s trilogy, Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man movies, and Tom Holland’s MCU iteration. As such, the film was a worldwide success and grossed over $1.9 billion worldwide as the third highest-grossing Marvel movie in history. A large portion of this total came from the U.S. and Canada, with Spider-Man: No Way Home pulling in an impressive $804,793,477 in domestic territories thanks to its nature as the culmination of three beloved Spider-Man franchises.
1 Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Despite the admirable efforts of other Marvel movies, Avengers: Endgame remains the crown jewel of Marvel concerning domestic box office totals – and will likely remain that way for a long while yet. Avengers: Endgame was the culmination of everything Marvel Studios had been working towards for 11 years resulting in a film that broke box office records with ease and became the highest-grossing movie ever made until 2009’s Avatar reclaimed that title. Nonetheless, Avengers: Endgame‘s worldwide total of over $2.7 billion is near-unprecedented which was aided by the film also being the highest-grossing Marvel film of all time domestically.
Avengers: Endgame‘s domestic box office total sits at $858,373,000. The film’s success is evident, especially exemplified by the over $50 million lead Avengers: Endgame has on this list’s runner-up, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Since 2019, Marvel Studios has struggled to emulate the success of Avengers: Endgame and will likely continue to do so. Since then, no film has even come close to reaching the excitement of a film that culminated 11 years of storytelling which only goes to show why Avengers: Endgame remains Marvel’s – and the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s – highest-grossing film of all time in both domestic and worldwide territories.