The comic book genre has been raking in the cash at the box office in recent years, not to mention delivering some fantastic films along the way.

Avengers Assemble

Avengers Assemble

We have already been treated to some great films in this genre in 2016 and Suicide Squad is set to hit the big screen at the end of the year. Is it also destined for big box office success?

We take a look at the all-conquering comic book genre and see which films really got cinema tills ringing.

- Avengers Assemble - $1,519 billion

Avengers Assemble may have been released back in 2012, but it remains the most successful comic book film. Personally, it remains my favourite MCU movie.

Avengers Assemble brought together Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor - who had all had solo movie success - while Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hulk were established and helped raise the MCU bar even higher.

Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson came together to star and really were a fantastic cast.

Avengers Assemble was the movie that all comic book fans had been waiting for and... it really did not disappoint. Joss Whedon was in the director's chair and did a fine job of balancing all of these characters and actors, developing the characters and relationships, and delivering some terrific action moments.

Avengers Assemble opened to critical and commercial success - it was the first Marvel film to gross over $1 billion at the box office.

By the end of its theatrical run, the movie had grossed over $1.5 billion and was the highest-grossing film of 2012. Four years on, and it is still the fifth highest-grossing film of all time; only Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World have grossed more.

Avengers Assemble

- Avengers: Age of Ultron - $1,405 billion

Three years later, the Avengers were back as Avengers: Age of Ultron hit the big screen, bringing Phase 2 of Marvel films to a close.

Joss Whedon was back in the director's chair and our favourite MCU heroes were reunited to do battle against evil once again.

There were some great new additions to the cast list this time around, as James Spader, Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were introduced as Ultron, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver.

The movie built on events of Captain America: Civil War and continued to move towards Avengers: Infinity War, which will be released in 2018.

While the film was not as critically acclaimed as its predecessor, the film was still a HUGE box office smash - becoming the third Marvel film to break that billion dollar barrier.

However, it would not end the year as the highest grossing film; that crown went to Jurassic World with Furious 7 coming second. Avengers: Age of Ultron remains the seventh highest-grossing film of all time.

But this will be the last Avengers film that Whedon directs as Anthony and Joe Russo are about to take over the reins for the 2018 and 2019 movies.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

- Iron Man 3 - $1,215 billion

The first stand-alone Marvel film to break $1 billion came in 2013 in the form of Iron Man 3. Hot off the heels of the success of Avengers Assemble, Robert Downey Jr was back in the title role.

The movie saw Downey Jr reunite with filmmaker Shane Black - they had worked together on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - and this was the first time that Black had tackled a comic book movie. Needless to say, this was the biggest film of his directing career.

The movie also saw Downey Jr reunite with Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle, who returned as Pepper Potts and Rhodes aka Iron Patriot. Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, and Rebecca Hall were the big new additions to the cast list as Aldrich Killian, the Mandarin, and Maya Hansen.

Just a year after Avengers Assemble, Marvel had another huge hit on their hands as Iron Man 3 stormed the global box office and won over fans and critics.

With a worldwide gross of $1.2 billion, Iron Man 3 was the second highest-grossing film of 2013 - only Frozen performed better with $1,276 billion.

Three years on, and we are still no closer to knowing if we will see Downey Jr star in another solo Iron Man film. I guess we are going to have to wait and see. As more time slips by, it does seem less likely.

Iron Man 3

- Captain America: Civil War - $1,151 billion

Captain America: Civil War is the most recent film on this list - having only been released at the end of April.

It is the third film in the Captain America franchise and comes two years after the critical and commercial success of The Winter Solider. Anthony and Joe Russo were back in the director's chair and they produced a film that was even bigger than its predecessor.

Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan returned to the franchise, while Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany, and Jeremy Renner appeared in a Captain America movie for the first time as out favourite heroes went head to head.

Captain America: Civil War is the highest-grossing film of the year so far and the most successful Captain America movie to date.

It joins Avengers Assemble, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Iron Man 3 in the billion club and was a huge hit critically.

The movie built on events of Age of Ultron while re-introducing storylines and characters that were kicked off in The Winter Solider. Captain America may have had a shaky start but it has become one of Marvel's most successful franchises.

Captain America: Civil War

- The Dark Knight Rises - $1,084 billion

Christopher Nolan brought a trilogy of fantastic Batman movies to the big screen and The Dark Knight Rises marked the end of that series back in 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises followed on from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and saw Christian Bale take on the role of Bruce Wayne for the third and final time. I thought he was a terrific Batman and was sad to see him leave this role behind.

The movie was set eight years after events of The Dark Knight and saw Jonathan and Christopher Nolan team up to pen the film's screenplay.

Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman were some of the familiar faces on board, while Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, and Marion Cotillard were also on board. It was an impressive cast that made sure that the film series went out with a bang.

While The Dark Knight Rises was not as critically acclaimed as its predecessor, it was a huge commercial hit as fans flocked to see this highly-anticipated final instalment.

The Dark Knight Rises was one of four films to gross over $1 billion in 2012 and it ended the year as the third highest-grossing film; behind Avengers Assemble and Skyfall.

It was to become the most successful film in Nolan's Batman trilogy and was one of the biggest and unmissable films of that year.

The Dark Knight Rises

- The Dark Knight - $1,004 billion

Hard to believe that The Dark Knight is a movie that's already eight years old... yes, it was released back in 2008.

The movie came three years after the release of Batman Begins and saw Christopher Nolan back in the director's chair; he also penned the screenplay with Jonathan Nolan.

The Dark Knight was the movie that really did set the bar for all other comic book films that followed. It is widely regarded as one of the best superhero movies of all time - it is a true classic of the genre.

Christian Bale reprised the role of Batman while Heath Ledger had the unenviable task of taking over the role of the Joker - a role synonymous with Jack Nicholson. But it was a role that he made his own in what was a truly knockout performance. He would go on to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work.

To say that The Dark Knight was a critical smash would be an understatement as it had critics raving and comic book fans punching the air.

It wasn't a surprise when the film ended the year as the highest-grossing movie. It was also the only film to gross over $1 billion in 2008. The Dark Knight is a movie that should have been in the Best Picture Oscar race but, for reasons that are still unclear, it was overlooked. For me, it should have won the damn Oscar!!!

The Dark Knight

- Spider-Man 3 - $890 million

It was back in 2007 when Tobey Maguire took on the role of Peter Parker for the final time in Spider-Man 3. The film also saw Sam Raimi, who had directed the two previous movies in the series, back in the director's chair.

The movie was based on the comic books by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and saw Sam team up with Ivan Raimi to pen the film's screenplay.

Maguire was joined on the cast list by Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Hayden Church, Topher Grace, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

While Spider-Man 3 was the least critically successful film of Raimi's trilogy, it was the biggest box office hit; going on to gross $890 million worldwide.

Spider-Man 3 is the most successful movie in the franchise and ended the year as the third highest-grossing film of the year; behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

A fourth Spider-Man film did go into development with Raimi and Maguire attached but the project didn't go ahead and the franchise was rebooted with a new director and a new actor.

Spider-Man 3

- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - $872 million

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the most talked about superhero films of 2016 as these two heroes came face to face for the first time.

Dawn of Justice came three years after the release of Man of Steel as the Warner Bros continued to develop and expand the DC Comic Universe.

Zack Snyder was in the director's chair while Henry Cavill was back as Superman. The movie introduced Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot as Batman and Wonder Woman, who will be seen in the first Justice League film next year.

Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, and Amy Adams were some of the other great names on the cast list.

Dawn of Justice is one of the biggest movies of the year so far - grossing $872 million at the global box office. However, it has not been received well by the critics and audiences have been split.

Dawn of Justice is currently the fourth highest-grossing film of the year, but could well be kicked down into fifth shortly by Finding Dory.

Filming on Justice League is already underway and we are also going to be treated to a solo Wonder Woman and solo Batman film over the next couple of years.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

- Spider-Man - $821 million

It was back in 2002 when Spider-Man swung into cinemas for the first time and made Tobey Maguire a star. Maguire was no stranger to the big screen, but it was the biggest film role of his career.

Sam Raimi was in the director's chair while David Koepp had penned the film's screenplay. Spider-Man was one of the early recent comic book films and kicked off the boom we have seen in this genre over the last decade.

A terrific cast has been assembled for the film as Willam Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and J.K. Simmons starred alongside Maguire.

The movie was an enormous critical and commercial hit and, at the time, it was the only film, to reach $100 million in its opening weekend.

Spider-Man went on to gross $821 million at the global box office. It was the third highest-grossing film of the year, behind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Tobey Maguire would go on to star in two more Spider-Man movies and it is one of the most successful comic book franchises.

Spider-Man

- Deadpool - $782 million

Another comic book film that has been a huge hit at the box office this year comes in the form of Deadpool. It has been one of the most anticipated films of the year and the excitement started from the moment it was announced that this film had gone into production.

Ryan Reynolds took on the role of Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009 and there has been talk of a solo film for this popular character ever since. Needless to say, when the film was released at the beginning of 2016, it did not disappoint.

Deadpool marked the feature film directorial debut for filmmaker Tim Miller while Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick penned the film's screenplay.

Reynolds is terrific in the central role and is joined on the cast list by Ed Skrein, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin.

The movie has been both a critical hit and a commercial smash as Reynolds won over audiences in the title role. The film grossed $782 million and is one of the biggest films of the year so far.

Not only is Deadpool one of the highest-grossing films of 2016, it is also the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time and the most successful film in the X-Men franchise.

A sequel is already believed to be in the pipeline and Deadpool looks on course to be another massive franchise success.

Deadpool

Other comic book movies that performed well include Spider-Man 2 ($783 million), Guardians of the Galaxy ($773 million), Captain America: The Winter Solider ($714 million), and X-Men: Days of Future Past ($747 million).

Suicide Squad is released 5th August.


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