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DC’s Movie Universe Makes More on Average Than Marvel’s

Batman v Superman Dawn of JusticeMany are enjoying the “failure” that is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film which is currently still in theaters has currently earned $851.6 million worldwide and currently sits in seventh when it comes to top grossing comic movie adaptations.

I’m a fan of the numbers though, and decided to see how DC‘s interconnected universe compares to Marvel‘s when it comes to the numbers. Now, the DC film universe is all of two films while Marvel’s is currently twelve.

Using data from Box Office Mojo, I looked at the film’s earnings domestically, internationally, worldwide, as well as their reported budget.

DC/Warner Bros. two films on average have earned $305.3 million domestically, $454.6 million internationally, and $759.8 million. Those numbers will only increase as Batman v Superman continues to play in theaters.

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has earned on average $299.5 million domestically, $457.5 million internationally, and $757 worldwide for its current 12 films.

So, that means on average DC has made more domestically and more worldwide on average. It will likely make more internationally when its Batman v Superman run is over.

Now, earnings like that aren’t the only numbers. We don’t know the amount spent on advertising or what’s made when it comes to licensing but the average DC budget is $237.5 million while Marvel’s is $174.2 million. That means DC’s two films on average have so far earned 3.19 times their budget while Marvel has earned 4.15 times. So, while DC has “earned more,” Marvel’s has been a better return. However, crushing both when it comes to return is Fox’s X-Men films which on average have brought back 4.35 times their budget.

So, calling Batman v Superman or DC’s movie universe a failure is a bit premature when looking at these numbers, and DC’s will only improve over the next few weeks. How Marvel holds up will be interesting with Captain America: Civil War opening in a few weeks.

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  • If you are crunching numbers, you have also consider that the studios get only roughly half of the box office, and what the “worth” of a property is before it hits the theatre…in the case of Batman v Superman for example, you need to compare it with the earnings of previous movies featuring said characters. For example The Amazing Spider-man 2. The movie actually was a financial success (Though it is possible that most of its earnings were used up in the marketing), but the trend showed diminishing returns from one Spider-man movie to the next, so while it still made money, it wasn’t really a success either.

    • Correct. I’m assuming that those cuts are equal and it doesn’t take into account of when the money comes in because that does change over time.

  • “Marvel on average has earned $299 domestically, 457.5 internationally and $757 worldwide.” What movie is this? If not a movie, what are they comparing BvS’ numbers to?