With every new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it seems as if another box office record is broken — and its latest flick, Doctor Strange, is no exception. The movie has quickly become one of Marvel’s highest-earning single-character introductory films ever, topping many of the origin stories that came before it. So where exactly does it rank?
Below, check out Marvel’s five highest-grossing solo character debut films ever. Note: This list doesn’t include the first outing of Guardians of the Galaxy, which features an ensemble of heroes and not a singular character .
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
Chris Evans made his debut as Steve Rogers aka Captain America in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. The franchise starter grossed $370.6 million at the box office, making it the fifth highest-earning solo debut movie in the MCU. Evans has since starred in the two hugely profitable sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, as well as both Avengers films. His next turn as the Cap will arrive in 2018’s highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel’s God of Thunder, played by Chris Hemsworth, comes in at No. 4 on the ranking of the MCU’s top-grossing single-character introductory movies. The character’s 2011 solo debut film — which also marked the fourth entry in the MCU — raked in an impressive $449.3 million worldwide. Aside from teaming up with his fellow heroes in the Avengers flicks, Hemsworth has since reprised the role in a 2013 follow-up film and is set to star in the 2017 threequel, Thor: Ragnarok.
Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man may not be as flashy as Iron Man or as psychedelic as Doctor Strange, but he’s still a proven moneymaker. The character’s 2015 solo introductory film earned a whopping $518 million at the worldwide box office. Rudd later reprised the role in Captain America: Civil War and is set to return for the 2018 sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
2. Iron Man
Before Doctor Strange took over the mantle, Iron Man dominated the title of Marvel’s biggest solo debut film for years. The game-changing Robert Downey Jr. starrer, which basically kickstarted the MCU back in 2008, garnered $585 million at the worldwide box office. The character has since become one of Marvel’s most popular heroes, with Downey reprising the role in two more Iron Man sequels and the Avengers team-up flicks.
1. Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange recently beat out Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man to become the highest-grossing solo character debut movie in the MCU. According to Deadline, the Scott Derrickson-directed feature surpassed $615 million worldwide over Thanksgiving weekend, making it the company’s biggest single-character introduction ever. Those figures put it ahead of Iron Man, whose solo origin story held the box office record for the last several years.
Of course, it’s no big surprise that the highly hyped movie is bringing in the big bucks. Between Cumberbatch’s star power and the film’s unique aesthetic, it’s easy to see why audiences are finding the project so appealing.
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