Marvel Movies Made 30% Of The Total Box Office Last Year

It's no secret that Marvel movies make a lot of money. That is why there have been so many of them in theaters over the last decade or so. But in 2021, a year that was wildly uneven for the movie business, Marvel dominated in a way that it never has before, which is both good and bad, depending on who you are and how you look at it.

According to The Wrap, the Marvel films released in 2021 account for a stunning 30% of the total domestic box office. This impressive feat is thanks to a total of five movies, including record-shattering "Spider-Man: No Way Home," "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," "Eternals," "Black Widow," and Sony's "Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Together, those movies made more than $1.35 billion in North America — about 30% of the overall $4.45 billion earned in ticket sales last year.

When we consider that around 400 movies were released in theaters last year, that figure is all the more impressive. Marvel has been dominant in the past, yes, but the gap between superheroes and everything else last year grew by a lot. To that end, Marvel's films, including "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Black Panther," accounted for 18% of the domestic box office in 2018.

The Good and Bad of It

Here's the thing, 2020 was straight-up miserable for the movie business. There is no way to sugarcoat that. So the fact that moviegoers showed up to see these Marvel flicks in theaters helped the exhibition side of the business a great deal. That is important, as streaming alone probably isn't the best option for anyone at this point. That's good, and the fact that the box office recovered overall is nice.

The bad of it is, so many other movies that weren't attached to major franchises struggled to find an audience last year. Great movies from beloved directors such as Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story," Guillermo del Toro's "Nightmare Alley," and Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel" all flopped in ugly fashion. It didn't help anything that Warner Bros. released all of its movies both in theaters and on HBO Max in the U.S., which unquestionably cut into what those movies might have made at the box office. Fortunately, they won't be implementing that same strategy this year.

One can only hope that 2022 sees a more even recovery, with movies outside of gigantic franchises also able to make enough money to be considered successful. But Marvel is expected to dominate again, with "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," "Thor: Love and Thunder," and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" all on deck, along with Sony's "Morbius," which recently suffered another delay.