The idea of a shared universe for a movie franchise certainly changed the game. Out of war of stars and Fast & Furious to the magic world and Despicable Me, almost every other superhit movie is slowly being adapted into a cinematic universe. Comic movies, thanks to the MCUlaunched the concept that took cinema and fan base by storm.
Like Marvel, DC Comics has a shared universe in the form of the DCEU, which started out a bit restless, but gradually develops into something special. However, DC had no trouble making money from its films before the DCEU kicked in. DC made a lot of money off superheroes like Batman and Superman. Additionally, unlike Marvel, DC Comics has continued to develop films outside of its shared universe, leading to some of their greatest successes.
10 Superman flew to a record $300,451,603
It wouldn’t be wrong to say it was 1978 superman paved the way for other superhero films. Just like in comics, Superman made it to the big screen earlier than other big names, and he did it in blockbuster fashion. Richard Donner took over as director and Christopher Reeve played the titular character in this classic.
The entire team delivered one of the most iconic and best superhero movies ever made. Shot on a then-hefty budget of $55 million, the film captured audiences’ imaginations by grossing more than $300 million at the box office.
9 The Lego Batman Movie grossed a solid $311,950,384
The Lego Batman Movie moved away from the dark and serious tone of other Batman projects and gave fans a refreshing take on the Caped Crusader. Batman took on his most iconic villains – and villains known to Mann from Warner Brothers – in a film that allowed audiences to see the reunion of The Bat family.
In total, The Lego Batman Movie was highly praised by critics. An offshoot of the lego movie, It didn’t quite match the 2014 film’s gross, but it didn’t disappoint at the box office in any way.
8th Batman changed things forever, grossing $336,567,158
After 1989 BatmanWarner Bros. published batman returns, which met with mixed reactions and couldn’t beat its predecessor at the box office either. The studio took massive steps to get the franchise back on track, replacing Tim Burton, the director who helped build the franchise, with Joel Schumacher. Michael Keaton also left the franchise and was replaced by Val Kilmer.
Joel Schumacher struck a lighter tone, helping the third film surpass the 1992 film in terms of worldwide gross collection. It also broke and surpassed the record for largest opening weekend when it hit theaters Jurassic Park.
7 Batman Begins started DC’s Greatest Trilogy at $373,672,993
Eight years after the publication of batman & robin, Warner Bros. rebooted the franchise and gave fans a whole new trilogy with The Dark Knight. As the name indicates, Batman begins launched the trilogy, led by Christian Bale as Batman and Christopher Nolan as director, by giving audiences a new look at the origins of the Caped Crusader.
Fans were thrilled to have their superhero back on the big screen and showed their immense support by helping make it a box office hit. From the beginning to teasing Joker towards the end, Batman begins remains a superhero high grade and justifies his financial success.
6 Superman Returns brought back The Man Of Steel for $391,081,192
Superman returns is set in the universe of the 1978 and 1980 Superman films directed by Richard Donner. The Man of Steel returned to the big screens after two decades and the film topped every other Superman film at the box office. It has also surpassed itself Batman beginswhich was published a year earlier.
However, the 2006 film was made on a staggering budget of more than $250 million, and Warner Bros. naturally expected more from the film. Plans for a sequel were dropped and the character was rebooted to make way for DCEU, which began with Kickstart man of Steel.
5 Batman reigned in 1989 with $411,569,241
After a Campier version of Batman in the 1960s, DC Comics gave fans a darker version of the Caped Crusader in 1989 Batman. Michael Keaton donned the suit from The Dark Knight and Tim Burton got the directing role. As with the other films with Joker, Batman was as good as it gets.
While fans were initially unhappy that Keaton was cast as the titular character, all of their speculations were proved wrong once the film hit theaters. Batman broke the record for largest opening weekend, hitting $100 million in a record pace. Grossing more than $400 million, it was almost two decades before another DC film caught up Batman.
4 The Batman grossed $770,836,163
One of DC’s most iconic characters, Warner Brothers decided to start a new Batman series outside of the DCEU. The character was rebooted again, with Matt Reeves co-writing and directing the film. The 2022 film received critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Robert Pattinson and everyone else in the cast were praised for their performances.
It’s also considered one of the best Batman movies without the Joker. The film featured a darkly twisted version of Riddler, turning his brilliant puzzles into murderous games. Manufactured for about $200 million, The Batman grossed about four times its budget.
3 The Dark Knight was the first superhero film to break the billion mark with $1,003,045,358
A film considered perfect in almost any pose, The dark knight was a milestone not only in DC Comics films, but in the superhero genre as a whole. Prior to its release, no DC film had grossed $500 million at the box office. Not only did it break that threshold, but the film became the first superhero film to gross over $1 billion.
While every actor has done their part perfectly, it’s Heath Ledger, who gave one of the best performances in cinema history as The Joker, that really stands out. Unfortunately, Ledger died six months before the film’s release.
2 Joker laughed his way to $1,074,445,730
Based on one of the most iconic villains in comic book history, joker would no doubt earn big at the box office. However, there were some concerns about financial uptake as the film was rated R and didn’t have much action to draw audiences. All concerns and doubts were cleared when the film hit theaters.
Manufactured on a budget of just $55 million, joker became the first-ever R-rated film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide. From the score and cinematography to a young Bruce Wayne cameo and of course Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as The Clown Prince of Crime, everything was top notch.
1 The Dark Knight Rises rose to an impressive $1,081,041,287
Released four years later The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises was met with overwhelming expectations from fans. Although the film isn’t as good as its predecessor, it was still a great conclusion to the legendary trilogy. In financial terms, however The Dark Knight rises has surpassed almost every other DC film.
The Dark Knight rises is still the highest-grossing DC film outside of the DCEU and the second-highest overall. The only other DC Comics based film to have made more than The Dark Knight rises is Aquaman.
NEXT: 10 Supervillain Castings As Perfect As Heath Ledger’s Joker