The Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the big screen for the last few years and has raked in billions at the box office.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

It is now one of the most successful film series of all time and there are many more movies on the horizon going forward over the next couple of years.

Phase 3 of Marvel movies kicks off this week as Captain America: Civil War is finally here. Not only is it promising to be the biggest Marvel film yet, it looks on course to be another huge success for the studio.

- Avengers Assemble - $1,519,557,910

Avengers Assemble may have been released back in 2012, but it remains the most successful Marvel film to date. Will Civil War put its box office total of $1.5 billion under threat? We are going to have to wait and see.

Yes, Avengers Assemble was the first time that we had seen all of our heroes together in one film. It was also the movie that really catapulted the Marvel films to great success.

It was the first of the films to break $1 billion at the global box office and it is the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time behind Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World.

The movie saw Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye unite for the first time - thanks to Nick Fury - to halt Loki's alien invasion. While it may not have been plain sailing at the beginning, they started to fight together when the world needed them the most.

Josh Whedon delivered a movie that was action-packed and gave all of the main characters some great screen time as relationships were developed. Avengers Assembled went on to be the highest-grossing film of 2012 and remains my favourite in the Marvel series.

Avengers Assemble

- Avengers: Age of Ultron - $1,405,413,868

Three years later, the Avengers came together again for Age of Ultron, which was one of the biggest films of 2015. Sadly, the film didn't quite live up to its predecessor but it is still a terrific watch.

While the critics may not have loved Age of Ultron as much as the first, the movie was still huge at the box office as it became the third Marvel film to gross over $1 billion; following in the footsteps of Avengers Assemble and Iron Man 3.

The movie saw Joss Whedon back in the director's chair and on writing duties while Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, and James Spader were some of the big new additions to the cast list.

When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start Ultron - a dormant peacekeeping program - things go horribly wrong and the Avengers have to stop Ultron from completing his destructive plan.

Avengers: Age of Ultron finished 2015 as the fourth highest-grossing movie of the year, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Fast & Furious 7. It is now the seventh highest-grossing movie of all time.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

- Iron Man 3 - $1,215,439,994

Iron Man 3 was the first film to follow the success of Avengers Assemble, hitting the big screen in 2013. It was another huge success and the first solo Iron Man movie to gross over $1 billion at the box office.

Iron Man 3 was the first solo film in this series since 2010 and saw Robert Downey Jr reprise the role of Tony Stark. So far, there is no sign of a fourth solo film going ahead any time soon.

Shane Black took over the director's chair from Jon Favreau while Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, and Ben Kingsley made up another very impressive and loaded cast list.

The movie follows Tony as his world is torn apart by the terrorist known as the Mandarin. He sets out on a quest for retribution and to try and save those that he cares about the most.

Iron Man 3 was the second highest-grossing movie of 2013 - behind the monster that was Frozen. It is currently the third most successful Marvel film and the only solo franchise to have a film gross over $1 billion.

Iron Man 3

- Guardians of the Galaxy - $773,312,399

Guardians of the Galaxy hit the big screen back in 2014 and was one of the riskiest Marvel films to date... but it turned out to be one of their best.

The film saw James Gunn take up the director's chair for the first Marvel film of his career. As well as being in the director's chair, Gunn also penned the film's screenplay.

Chris Pratt took on the central role of Peter Quill and was joined on the cast list by Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, and Karen Gillan. The movie follows Quill as he bands together with a group of intergalactic criminals to bring down Ronan, who is intent on taking over the galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy was a critical smash and Gunn was praised for his tight storyline, great character development, and delivering a movie that looked fantastic. It really is one of the best-looking movies that Marvel has delivered so far.

This may have been a new film franchise for Phase 2, but that did not stop fans flocking to the cinema to see it. The movie was the most successful Marvel film of the year as it grossed over $773 million worldwide. It was the third highest grossing film of the year, behind Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Guardians of the Galaxy

- Captain America: The Winter Solider - $714,421,503

Captain America: The Winter Solider was another Marvel film to hit the big screen in 2014 and also enjoyed critical and commercial success.

This was the second stand-alone film for Captain America and the first time we had seen this character since Avengers Assemble two years earlier. Unlike Avengers Assemble, this movie was truly able to explore how Rogers was settling into this new life in the modern day.

The movie saw Chris Evans reunite with Scarlett Johansson - as she stepped into this franchise for the first time - Samuel L. Jackson and Sebastian Stan. Robert Redford and Anthony Mackie were the big new additions to the cast list.

Rogers is trying to find his place in this new world whilst having to battle his old foe HYDRA, an organisation that had not been destroyed as effectively as he had believed.

For me, The Winter Solider is the second best Marvel movie behind Avengers Assemble and it was a real step up from the first Captain America film.

Anthony and Joe Russo delivered another action-packed movie that was as much about character and relationships as it was about spectacle. It was one of the most successful films of the year. The duo is back for Civil War and will go on to direct Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & Part 2.

Captain America: The Winter Solider

- Thor: The Dark World - $644,602,516

Thor: The Dark World is the second stand-alone film for this character and was also released in 2013 - coming after the huge success of Iron Man 3 in the summer.

It was the first outing for Chris Hemsworth since helping to save New York in Avengers Assemble and it was a movie that saw him jump between Earth and Asgard more than ever.

Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Kat Dennings, and Stellan Skarsgard were all back while Christopher Eccleston was the big new addition to the cast list as villain Malekith. It was also all change in the director's chair as Alan Taylor took over from Kenneth Branagh.

Thor must battle Malekith, who is planning to plunge the universe into eternal darkness - using the upcoming convergence to complete his plan. Thor must also save Jane, who has come in contact with a powerful entity known as the Aether.

Thor: The Dark World was another fantastic looking film and enjoyed bigger box office success than its predecessor. While it was not as big a hit as Iron Man 3, the movie still grossed over $644 million by the end of its theatrical run. We are going to see Thor return next year in Thor: Ragnarok.

Thor: The Dark World

- Iron Man 2 - $623,933,331

Hard to believe, but it was back in 2010 when Iron Man 2 was released and Robert Downey Jr returned to the central role of Tony Stark. The movie came two years after the critical and commercial success of Iron Man and saw Jon Favreau back in the director's chair.

Gwyneth Paltrow reprised the role of Pepper Potts while Don Cheadle took over the role of James Rhodes. Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, and Mickey Rourke were some of the other great new names on the cast list.

The world now knows that Stark is Iron Man. Stark is not only dealing with his declining health, but he also must stop the vengeful Ivan Vanko, who knew Howard Stark and wants revenge for the past.

Iron Man was the seventh biggest film of 2010 as it grossed over $623 million at the global box office. I know that this is not the most successful Marvel haul of all time, but Iron Man 2 really helped to get the Marvel juggernaut going as the studio moved towards a Avengers film.

Iron Man 2 really cemented Robert Downey Jr in this role and had sent his star rocketing even higher.

Iron Man 2

Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avengers, and Ant-Man are the other movies that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe back catalogue.

Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther & Avengers Infinity War Part 1 & Part 2 are the Marvel movies on the horizon between now and 2018.

Captain America: Civil War is released 29th April.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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