Battle of the Box Office: Marvel vs. DC Comics

Two superhero comics posters featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Flash

After nine years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has grown to dominate the box office, but the new DC Comics Extended Universe has launched a powerful challenge to Marvel's supremacy. This weekend, "Justice League" launches while "Thor: Ragnarok" is still number one at the box office.

Marvel may have hit after hit, but DC has the first female superhero with her own origin movie — and an amazing one at that. The MCU has racked up an impressive $12.6 billion in worldwide box office receipts. DC Comics' $3.1 billion seems small in comparison, but its average is only slightly behind Marvel's. Marvel may have the very best performing films, but it also has quite a few at the bottom of the list.

On average, each MCU film took $788.45 million, while each DC film has won $777 million on average. Marvel has been going longer, but its original films didn't quite take off as impressively as the more recent ones — and DC Comics heroes (Batman, Superman) tend to be better known.

Without further ado, here is the list of MCU and DC universe films, ranked by their box office receipts.

20. Marvel: "The Incredible Hulk" (2008).

Marvel's second film was also its worst performer. "The Incredible Hulk" only took $263.4 million in box offices worldwide, $135 million of that in the U.S.

19. Marvel: "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011).

It may seem hard to believe, but the very first Captain America movie did not perform very well, comparatively, at the box office. "Captain America: The First Avenger" took $370.6 million globally ($177 million in the U.S.).

18. Marvel: "Thor" (2011).

Like the first Captain America, the first Thor did not wow audiences, but these early films built the foundation for "Avengers" (2012). "Thor" took $449.3 million globally ($181 million domestic).

17. Marvel: "Ant Man" (2015).

"Ant Man" performed the worst of all Marvel's "Phase Two" films, taking only $519.3 million globally ($180 million domestic).