Black Panther did more yesterday than just set a studio record for the highest box office gross on a Wednesday. The film also pushed Marvel Studios over $14 billion in worldwide box office receipts. All of that has been earned in less than a decade since the studio released their first film, Iron Man, on May 2, 2008.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the highest grossing series in global box office history. It’s well ahead of second place franchise Star Wars ($9.1B). To be fair, however, Star Wars is well shy of Marvel’s total of 18 films.
Marvel Studios has enjoyed an unprecedented winning streak en route to their $14B box office haul. All 18 of their films have opened at the top of the domestic box office in their respective first weekends. They have had 15 films gross over $500M worldwide, including the last 13 in a row with Black Panther crossing that milestone today.
The last time the studio had a film gross less than $500M worldwide was Captain America: The First Avenger ($370.6M) in 2011.
Marvel Studios has earned their success by making high-quality movies with remarkable consistency. Every single film has a “Fresh” rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with most of those being “Certified Fresh.” Eight Marvel films have scored 90% or above on the Tomatometer while Black Panther has become the highest rated superhero film in the site’s history.
Audiences have loved Marvel’s output just as much as critics. The studio has the only two “A+” CinemaScore ratings for live-action superhero movies (The Avengers, Black Panther), a dozen “A” ratings, three “A-” ratings, and one “B+” (Thor).
Marvel Studios will easily cross the $15B milestone with Avengers: Infinity War (out May 4) in just a few months. They will likely sail over $16B before the year is out with Ant-Man and the Wasp releasing July 6.
Marvel Studios has been a juggernaut that many have tried to replicate, but to no avail. Led by, as Black Panther director Ryan Coogler puts it “Kevin and his two friends,” them being studio president Kevin Feige along with co-president Louis D’Esposito and executive vice president, physical production Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios are in a class by themselves.