Special Report

10 Most Valuable Comic Book Movie Franchises

7. Captain America (tie)
>Franchise rank by worldwide gross receipts: 7 ($1.09 billion)
>Franchise rank by U.S. gross receipts: 7 ($436.42 million)

>Number of movies in franchise: two
>Studio: Paramount for first movie, then Buena Vista

>Top grossing movie in franchise: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014) ($714.8 million worldwide)
>Production budget: $170 million
>All-time domestic U.S. sales rank: 77
>All-time worldwide sales rank: 67

Captain America is another of the superheroes to emerge from Marvel. The character was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in March 1941. The first movie in the franchise, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” was released in 2011, and the third installment, “Captain America: Civil War,” is due out in May 2016. Last year’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” had the best April opening weekend ever, with $95 million in gross receipts, until this year’s “Furious 7” came along and posted domestic opening weekend receipts of $147 million.

ALSO READ: Star Trek Movie Franchise Reaches $1.2 Billion Ticket Sales

8. Thor (tie)
>Franchise rank by worldwide gross receipts: 8 ($1.09 billion)
>Franchise rank by U.S. gross receipts: 8 ($387.39 million)
>Number of movies in franchise: two
>Studio: Paramount for first movie, then Buena Vista

>Top grossing movie in franchise: “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) ($644.8 million worldwide)
>Production budget: $170 million
>All-time domestic U.S. sales rank: 146
>All-time worldwide sales rank: 85

Along with Iron Man and Captain America, Thor is an original member of the Avengers and will be in the thick of the fight when “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is released this weekend. Thor made his first appearance in 1962 and got his own title in March of 1966. Besides appearing in the Avengers movies, the god of thunder will also be featured in a third installment of this franchise, “Thor: Ragnarok,” currently scheduled for November of 2017. Thor’s appearance in the new Avengers movie is expected to boost ticket sales for the next Thor movie, just as the character’s appearance in the first Avengers movie boosted the opening weekend box office for the second Thor movie by 30%.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy
>Franchise rank by worldwide gross receipts: 9 ($774.18 billion)
>Franchise rank by U.S. gross receipts: 8 ($333.18 million)
>Number of movies in franchise: one
>Studio: Buena Vista

>Top grossing movie in franchise: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) ($774.18 million worldwide)
>Production budget: $170 million
>All-time domestic U.S. sales rank: 33
>All-time worldwide sales rank: 53

The Guardians of the Galaxy are another team first put together by the writers and artists at Marvel in January 1969. The team changed in a series of comic books that debuted in May of 2008. Even though only one film has been released to date, that film was wildly popular and a second, “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” is on the roster for May of 2017. Of the four superhero titles released in 2014, “Guardians” posted the highest domestic gross, almost $100 million more than second-ranked “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

ALSO READ: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Is No. 1 Film of 2014

10. The Hulk
>Franchise rank by worldwide gross receipts: 10 ($508.76 million)
>Franchise rank by U.S. gross receipts: 10 ($267 million)
>Number of movies in franchise: two
>Studio: Universal for the first movie, then Buena Vista

>Top grossing movie in franchise: “The Incredible Hulk” (2008) ($263.43 million worldwide)
>Production budget: $150 million
>All-time domestic U.S. sales rank: 346
>All-time worldwide sales rank: 416

The Hulk’s first appearance came in May 1962 in a comic book created by the Marvel team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The first film starring the Hulk was released in 2003, and the second in 2005, both by Universal. Marvel Studios has since reacquired the rights from Universal. The Hulk is also part of the Avengers team and will be appearing in the second Avengers film, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which hits U.S. theaters on Friday. He is also part of the Fantastic Four team that stars in two films from Fox. A third is coming from Fox in August of this year, which appears to be a reboot of the original from 2005, and a fourth is on the schedule for June of 2017.