With the release of Marvel‘s Avengers:Endgame last weekend, the film continues to break box office records and is well on its way to making $2 billion USD globally in just its second week. Beating out Star Wars: The Force Awakens by raking in $156.7 million USD at the domestic box office on its first day, the MCU has proven to become the most lucrative franchise in film history.
While Endgame is still in theaters, Reddit user rebellious_scum took the opportunity to create an animated timeline which looks back at the North American box office sales of the biggest franchise films over the last 20 years, adjusted for inflation. Starting with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, we see other action films from X-Men, The Fast and Furious, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter all starting to rise up in the early aughts. With Iron Man entering the fray in 2008, it’s only a matter of time before Marvel rises to take the spot in its sales.
According to Visual Capitalist, Marvel’s ability to produce films with a rapid, formulaic pace has allowed it to stay relevant in viewers’ minds, earning its dominance at the box office. Additionally, its interdependence with characters and storylines has exponentially overshadowed competitors where it has become tougher for other franchises to compete.