Batman first showed up in 1939, as part of what is now called the DC Comic universe. His alter ego Bruce Wayne, a fabulously wealthy citizen of Gotham City showed up at the same time. Since then, with all the other Marvel characters that have come and gone, Batman is probably the most well-known, after, perhaps, only Superman. However, Superman has powers beyond regular humans. Batman does not. He has to rely on his remarkable intelligence and a closet full of gadgets that help him to fight crime.
Despite a dizzying array of interpretations, Batman’s origin story remains more or less the same. As in the original DC comic, young Bruce Wayne loses his parents to a violent tragedy. He grows up to become a millionaire playboy by day and Gotham City’s foremost vigilante by night. When not taking on petty criminals, he squares off against supervillains such as The Joker, The Riddler, and others.
Batman movies are the eight highest-grossing films of all time, according to Box Office Mojo, with a lifetime gross of $2.4 billion, just behind X-Men and just ahead of Harry Potter. The highest-grossing individual film, “The Dark Knight” brought in $533 million after it was released in 2008.
Batman, like James Bond, has been played by a number of actors. Like Bond, there will be unending debate about the actor who was best in the role, and who was worst.
The worst performance as Batman was by George Clooney. Here are the details:
> Appearances as Batman: 1
> Top-rated Batman film: Batman & Robin (1997)
> Avg. IMDb rating for Batman films: 3.8/10
> Avg. RT audience rating for Batman films: 16%
> Avg. Tomatometer rating for Batman films: 12%
Clooney’s turn as the caped crusader was so disastrous that he later apologized for destroying the franchise (at the time). It didn’t help that “Batman & Robin” was also one of the most famously terrible films in recent history.
Methodology: To rank all actors who have played Batman, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on Google search popularity, average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator. Relative Google popularity for the search query of an actor’s name plus “Batman” from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, a neutral period with no Batman film releases, came from Google Trends and was included in the index at double weight. The average IMDb user rating for all Batman films starring each actor was calculated using the number of votes as weighting and was included in the index at full weight. The average Rotten Tomatoes audience rating and average Tomatometer rating were also calculated using the number of votes and reviews as weights and were both included in the index at full weight. Television data was used for Batman actors who have primarily portrayed the character in television series or serials. Data was collected November 2021.
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