Since the movie industry has regained prominence in 2021, both Marvel and DC have reclaimed their places at the forefront of mainstream media with some of the most popular movies in play. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has returned with a vengeance following the Infinity Saga as DC works to rebuild its own popularity through both streaming and theatrical releases.
In the first half of 2022, both Marvel and DC movies have already achieved impressive success with their blockbusters on the big screen, even outside of their efforts at Disney+ and HBO Max, respectively. Each studio released a full film in theaters that both surpassed $750 million or more at the global box office, and there are a handful of other films due for release later in the year.
All of these different numbers begs the question – how do Marvel and DC compare to the rest of the movie world in terms of sheer popularity? Well, a new round of statistics has an answer to that question, although it did provide some results that many might not have expected.
Marvel & DC continue to dominate the movie landscape
Parrot Analytics, as reported by Business Insider, unveiled its top 10 most popular films ranking, analyzing fan engagement for film releases, between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 in the pandemic era. These rankings take into account viewership, social media interaction, and online research, taking into account all types of viewer engagement, rather than just looking at films’ box office.
The top ten films had six superhero films from Marvel Studios and Warner Bros’ DC properties, including the top four spots on the list.
Interesting, The Batman was the only theatrical exclusive from both studios to make the list as of 2022, although DC had that too Zack Snyder’s Justice League following its release on HBO Max in March 2021. Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let there be carnage impressively took second place with an exclusive theatrical release Spider-Man: No Way Home became the most popular film of the last 12 months.
- Spider-Man No way home
- Venom: Let there be carnage
- The Batman
- To redden
- Godzilla vs Kong
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League
- Black widow
Also included are the top 10 films at the domestic box office for 2021 and 2022, almost all of which were released in the same period. While there are a few similarities, the films in the engagement rankings don’t necessarily line up perfectly with the top-grossing films at the box office.
Encanto, Luke, Godzilla vs Kongand To redden didn’t rank high in their box office results, but all of them achieved viewership and engagement numbers in their streaming runs. Released almost exclusively on HBO Max, the Snyder Cut was one of the most-watched films of that 12-month span.
The top four entries in the Parrot rankings all finished in the top 13 of the box office, including three of the top five films. Especially during eternal was just struggling to keep up with his box office numbers Top Gun: Maverick and Spider-Man: No Way Home in the engagement category, indicating strong home performance.
With Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange 2 Having only been in theaters for a few months or less, future analysis could see them higher up the engagement list:
- Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
- The Batman (2022)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2022)
- Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)
- Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)
- Black widow (2021)
- Venom: Let there be carnage (2021)
- Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)
- F9: The Swift Saga (2021)
- eternal (2021)
- no time to die (2022)
- A Quiet Place Part II (2021)
- Unexplored (2022)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
- Ghostbusters: Life After Death (2021)
- Free guy (2021)
- light year (2022)
Overall, just over a quarter of the films in the Parrot list make the top 10 box office for 2021 or 2022 at the box office. This confirms that many other factors played a role in determining which films performed best when interacting with fans.
Marvel & DC separate between popularity and box office
Looking at these lists over the past few years, you might see a slight discrepancy between the films that fans enjoy and the films that do well at the box office. However, viewers also need to consider the changing landscape of the post-pandemic viewing experience, with streaming becoming such an important part of the equation.
That’s no surprise Spider-Man: No Way Home was the biggest winner on this list as it now stands as the sixth highest grossing film in history and a re-release is already on the way. Even poison 2The placement of makes sense after it scored the second-highest opening weekend at the box office in 2021.
However, given the importance of streaming releases to the film landscape, especially just after the pandemic ended in 2021, it’s not surprising that their presence on this list is making itself felt.
Three of Disney’s biggest animated releases make the top 10, with streaming releases becoming increasingly important for families during this time. This is also evident in dual streaming and cinema releases like Black widow – This film has specifically helped put it back in the spotlight at the box office while also being available to stream on Disney+.
With the same idea in mind, Zack Snyder’s Justice League took full advantage of its streaming-only release, especially considering how much buildup it had before its debut last year. This one was particularly impressive considering the film was over four hours long and had no box office numbers, yet it still became one of the most talked about events of the year.
The same thing happened on the Marvel side of the equation with eternal following its Disney+ debut, which allowed fans to go back and reconsider the number of reviews viewers had upon its November 2021 release. With this film being the second longest in MCU history, it gave an opportunity to really see what the film got right and wrong, likely leading to more comments from both perspectives.
Looking at the bigger picture of this report, it’s undeniable that superhero movies will remain the biggest driving force in the industry into 2022, and that will likely continue to evolve. More than half of the “most popular” list included outings from Marvel and DC, and with both packed their schedules for the next few years, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Marvel is currently in theaters with Thor: Love and Thunderand will end in 2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11th, DC will proceed with League of Superpets on July 29 and Black Adam on October 21st.