Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger

To say that Marvel have been the dominating force at the box office this summer would be a little bit of an understatement as Thor and X-Men: First Class have both topped the box office all over the globe.

A third Marvel movie hits the big screen this week in the form of Captain America: The First Avenger - and we could see a new franchise born with Chris Evans at the helm.

So to celebrate the release of the movie we take a look at some of the most successful Marvel franchises in recent years.

Spider Man (3 movies) - $2.5b

We may not have had a Spider Man movie hit the big screen since 2007, yes it really is four years ago, but this remains the most lucrative franchise for Marvel at the box office.

Tobey Maguire first took on the role of Peter Parker way back in 2002 - really kicking off the comic book movie boom that we are enjoying today.

The $821 million gross that the global box office ensured that a sequel would be in the pipeline and this successful franchise was born.

And the sequel came in 2004 as both Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst reprised their roles of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.

Although it didn't do as well at the box office as the first movie it easily made back it's $200 million budget and was a massive hit.

But it was the third film in the series that was the most successful at the box office as it took $890 million.

Maguire was set to return but the whole franchise is being rebooted with Brit actor Andrew Garfield at the helm - The amazing Spider Man is set for release next year.

X-Men (5 movies) - $1.536b

Now I have to admit that the X-Men is a personal favourite after growing up with the cartoon and the movies really haven't disappointed.

X-Men was released back in 2000, god over a decade ago, and featured well established talent such as Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan whilst launching the career of a certain Hugh Jackman.

Two sequel followed, only the second being directed by Bryan Singer; and by far the best in the series.

But it's the third film The Last Stand that was the most successful when it came to the box office - grossing over $459 million worldwide.

But that was back in 2006 and since then we have seen a spin off movie - Hugh Jackman reprising Wolverine and an origins story, X-Men: First Class which was released this summer.

There is another Wolverine movie in the pipeline and after the success of First Class this summer, both critically and commercially I wouldn't be surprised to see another movie in the not so distant future.

Iron Man (2 movies) - $1.207b

Iron Man may have been on of the lesser known Marvel Comic heroes to those who were not followers of the comics but he has proved to be one of the most popular when it comes to the big screen.

And that is mainly down to the superb central performance that has been given by Robert Downey Jr in the two movies that have so far been released.

Iron Man, was released back in 2008 saw Downey Jr step into the big budget blockbuster and it practically rebuilt his career overnight.

A sequel was inevitable, which came last summer, and that proved to be the more successful film at the box office.

A third film is in the pipeline, however Jon Favreau will not be in the director's chair, but we will see Downey Jr taking on the role of Tony Stark earlier than that as he will reprise the role for The Avengers next year.

Fantastic 4 (2 movies) - $619,627m

2005 saw Ioan Gruffurd, Jessica Alba. Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis band together as the Fantastic 4 as another Marvel comic was adapted for the big screen.

However unlike the big budget Marvel movies that had come before it Fantastic Four did struggle with the critics.

But Marvel fans did come out in support of the film and the movie took in excess of $330 million at the global box office, easily making back it's $100 million budget.

A second movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer, followed two years later and once again it struggled both critically and commercially.

The Hulk (2 movies) - $508,788m

We haven't seen The Hulk on the big screen since 2008 when Ed Norton took on the role but the character is set to return in The Avengers next year.

A new movie means a new actor and it's Oscar nominated mark Ruffalo who will be taking on the character Bruce Banner.

The Hulk hit the big screen back in 2003 as Ang Lee took on the comic book project. Despite an all star cast that included Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly and Nick Nolte the movie was met with lukewarm reviews from the critics.

Five years later as Ed Norton took over the role - and despite being better movie The Incredible Hulk but in a similar performance as it's predecessor with $263 million.

Captain America: The First Avenger is released 29th July.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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