Superhero Cinemath: Who Won the Battle of the Box Office in 2016?

     January 5, 2017


With six major live-action comic book adaptations totaling over $4.76 billion, it’s clear that 2016 was a banner year for superhero cinema. Warner Bros. rolled out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, two huge installments in their ongoing DC Extended Universe. Disney/Marvel continued their own cinematic universe with the release of Captain America: Civil War and the latecomer, Doctor Strange, which is still playing in theaters (so the film’s numbers will continue to change). 20th Century Fox also got in on the act with a pair of their own Marvel properties: the WGA Awards-nominated Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse.

But with that much competition, there are bound to be winners and losers at the box office. There were record-breakers and record-setters among this bunch for sure. Some of the best seasonal opening weekends, all-time opening weekends worldwide, and franchise bests came in this bunch. And since there are so many ways to measure box office performance, it’s no surprise that no one film walked away with all the accolades … though it was close. So, thanks to Box Office Mojo, we’ve put together the final numbers (or as close as possible in the case of Doctor Strange) for the year in superhero cinema.

Did your favorite take the cake? Some of the numbers might surprise you, both in terms of standout box office performances and stunning shortcomings from otherwise surefire properties, filmmakers, and A-list casts. Every film in this list tallied at least $155 million domestically and $500 million worldwide, which is no small task, so it’s worth keeping in mind that these films are the cream of the box office crop, and any separation among them are based purely on the numbers and nothing else.

Continue reading to find the 2016 winners in the following categories:

  • Best Opening Day (Domestic)
  • Best Opening Weekend (Domestic)
  • Best Audience Retention
  • Best Overall Domestic Box Office
  • Best Overall Worldwide Box Office

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