Where the Data Ranks 2016’s Comic Book Films

The summer movie season is over and we’ve seen an interesting year when it comes to comic book films. For months debates have raged as to who is more successful, Marvel or DC, which movies were successes, and which were flops. The answers aren’t so simple and black and white, which is why I like to turn to data to give actual rankings as to who were winners and losers.

So far this year, seven films have been released based on comic books (counting Batman: The Killing Joke). This feature will focus on the 2016 releases until all the dollars are in, then I’ve got something special planned as we shift focus to 2017.

Of note:

  • Doctor Strange is slowing down but still bringing in international dollars, a few thousand this past week. The film has earned $677.6 million worldwide so far and will probably stop somewhere shy of $678. That puts the film at 18th of all time for comic films and right in the middle of the pack for 2016’s releases. It’s a bit mixed when it comes to Marvel films as it was below the average domestic, international, and worldwide totals, but that’s largely due to 4 films skewing things and making it a high hurdle. Compared to other “debut” films for characters, this one did about as expected.
  • Captain America: Civil War looks to be the top grossing film worldwide for 2016 though Rogue One is challenging that. The film earned $1.153 billion worldwide, about $98 million more than the next film. There’s still a chance that Rogue One catches up, but it’s unlikely to happen with $98 million to go and that film’s run winding down. Rogue One did pass the film when it comes to domestic earnings and is the top domestic film of the year. Civil War is third for the year, the best performing comic film.
  • Officer Downe continues to look like it hasn’t earned any more money. When it comes to the below stats, the film is being treated like Batman: The Killing Joke. The film is mostly a video on demand release, so it likely won’t see a wide release.
  • The Chair is currently not included in these stats. While the film is based on a comic, its release was done so through a service where receipts aren’t tracked in traditional ways.
  • DC’s films average $315.5 million a film domestically compared to Marvel’s $302.5 million. Internationally, Marvel earns $477.2 million and DC earns $446.8 million.

Here’s where this year’s movie crop stands as far as the actual numbers. Numbers are presented with and without The Killing Joke and Officer Downe which did not have an international run or wide release, so was not included in that average to start:

Total Domestic Gross: $1.901 billion ($1.897 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total International Gross: $3.126 billion
Worldwide Gross: $5.026 billion ($5.022 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total Reported Budgets: $1.215 billion ($1.211 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Total “Profit”: $3.812 billion ($3.811 billion without Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Average Domestic Gross: $271.0 million ($211.2 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average International Gross: $446.5 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $717.5 million ($558.5 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Budget: $173 million ($151.8 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)
Average Profit: $544.5 million ($476.5 million with Killing Joke and Officer Downe)

Now that we have those numbers down we can get a better idea as to how films have actually done this year. Below are various rankings of where films stand so far and if the films are above average (green), below average (red), or above the overall average but below the adjusted average (yellow):

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