The early years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in phase one were pretty random. Although there were some big hits like the Iron Man movies and (obviously) The Avengersthere were also movies like The Incredible Hulk who struggled to find an audience. After the global phenomenon of The Avengers by 2012, however, the MCU had officially established itself as one of the most popular film franchises in the world. The series had found its biggest audience yet, and there was plenty of anticipation to see how the franchise would continue to grow after that ensemble film grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide.
As the MCU moved into “Phase two“, the group of six films that made up the second segment of Kevin Feige’s widespread superhero effort, it quickly became clear that The Avengers was no coincidence. The MCU had built a dedicated fanbase that was willing to show up for virtually anything produced by Marvel Studios, whether it was a big team-up movie or a standalone movie about a bigger character. obscure. The franchise had established its footing in phase one, then learned how to operate in phase two. Courtesy of The Numbers, here’s how each film in the MCU’s second phase ranks in terms of box office results:
6 Ant-Man – $518,858,449
The lowest-grossing film in the MCU’s Phase Two was actually the last film to be released during Phase Two. The ant Mandirected by Peyton Reed, was released in July 2015 and served as a sort of epilogue to the after phase Avengers: Age of Ultron had hit theaters earlier that summer. The ant Man was a film in development since the early days of the MCU, with Edgar Wright initially attached to direct the film.
When the film was finally released, it opened with $57 million domestically, which was the lowest opening of the phase and the second lowest of the entire franchise, barely beating The Incredible Hulkits debut at $55 million. It went on to gross $180 million in North America and grossed a grand total of $518 million worldwide. On a $130 million budget, that’s not too shabby. Compared to the rest of phase two, this number is noticeably smaller, however, it is still higher than the first Captain America And Thor Phase One films, which grossed $370 million and $449 million, respectively.
5 Thor: The Dark World: $644,602,516
Thor: The Dark World has a reputation as one of the worst films the MCU has produced in the 15 years since the franchise launched. However, despite this backlash, the film still had a strong run at the box office. Released in November 2013, it was the second phase two film, after iron man 3 from the beginning of the year. It opened atop the box office with a haul of $85 million, and it would cling to that top spot for a few weeks until it was dethroned by Hunger Games – Catching Fire.
Throughout the month of November and during the end of year celebrations, The dark world built at $206 million domestically and $644 million worldwide. This made it the third highest-grossing MCU film to date, only behind The Avengers And iron man 3. With the same $150 million budget as the first Thorit was more than enough to generate profits for Disney and Marvel Studios.
4 Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $714,401,889
Only five months later The dark world was released, the MCU went from one of its worst entries to one of its best, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit theaters in April 2014. The Winter Soldier was a big improvement over the first Captain America, both critically and financially. With a budget of $170 million, the film opened with $95 million and went on to gross $259 million domestically and $714 million worldwide.
With that, The Winter Soldier outmoded The dark world with the third-highest gross in the franchise. The Winter Soldier almost doubled the world transport of Captain America: The First Avengerand it established Captain America as one of the strongest series in the overall MCU franchise.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy – $770,882,395
When Feige unveiled the Phase Two movie lineup at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012, there was a lot of doubt and confusion about whether to include guardians of the galaxy. Considering that the MCU was a franchise that had mostly stuck to recognizable characters, the idea of moving the series into space to focus on a group of characters no one had heard of (which included a tree that talking and a raccoon) was disorienting, to say the least.
Before the movie was released in August 2014, many people were predicting Guardians would be the MCU’s first real flop, especially with a $170 million budget, but those naysayers were quickly proven wrong. With a lovable cast, an infectious soundtrack and the strong creative vision of James Gunn at the helm, Guardians became the unexpected success of the year. The film opened to $94 million, tied with The Winter Soldieris $95 million, and it grossed a total of $333 million domestically and $770 million worldwide. Apart The Avengers And iron man 3, guardians of the galaxy easily surpassed all previous films in the MCU and established the Guardians series as a fan favorite.
2 Iron Man 3 – $1,215,392,272
The movie that kicked off Phase Two as the first MCU release after The Avengers was iron man 3, heading for the trilogy that started it all. THE Iron Man the films were among the biggest hits of the late 2000s, and iron man 3 relied on both that and the immense success of The Avengers Also. With a budget of $200 million, iron man 3 kicked off the summer of 2013 with a domestic opening of $174 million. It eventually grossed $408 million in North America and a grand total of $1.2 billion worldwide.
At the time, it was iron man 3 the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. It was the highest-grossing film of the year domestically, while globally it came in second behind Disney’s Frozen. No matter how you looked at it, iron man 3 was a massive feather in Marvel Studios’ cap and in Feige’s bullet cap. The MCU had just churned out two consecutive billion-dollar movies, which is a rare feat, even by today’s standards.
1 Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1,395,316,979
Given the huge success of The Avengers in 2012 and the financial strength of the standalone films that followed it, there was no way that Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t going to be another MCU juggernaut. As expected, the film debuted in big numbers, as it grossed $191 million in its opening weekend alone.
Although the critical response to the film was not as strong as it had been for the first avengersthe followingstill managed to gross a total of $459 million in North America and $1.39 billion worldwide. If you wanted to be cynical, you could say that Age of Ultron was not the success it should have had, as its box office numbers are lower than those of the first avengersespecially considering the incredibly bloated budget of $365 million.
However, it is undeniable that Age of Ultron was a huge success. It was the third-highest-grossing film of 2015 in North America, the fourth-highest-grossing of the year worldwide, and it was (at the time) the fifth-highest-grossing of all time. Although he didn’t take the #1 and #2 spots for the year as iron man 3 fact, it’s more of a testament to the strength of the 2015 box office, which was full of leviathans like jurassic world, Furious 7 And Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Throughout Phase Two, the MCU had become a well-oiled success machine, and things would only grow as the franchise moved into Phase Three.
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