A Comparison of the Highest Grossing Batman Movies of the Last Three Decades

In anticipation for the one movie this year with a chance of competing with Marvel’s The Avengers, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the lifetime worldwide grosses of every Batman movie since 1989.  Dark Knight Rises probably won’t beat out The Avengers, but it certainly has a chance of being the highest-grossing Batman movie of all time.  Can Dark Knight Rises overthrow all previous Batman movies at the box office?  Let’s take a look at the chances:

1. Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is the 12th highest grossing worldwide movie of all time.  It grossed $533.3 million domestic and $468.6 million overseas.  Dark Knight was not only among the highest grossing movies of all time, but it is the eighth highest grossing sequel of all time.

2. Batman

This was the movie that sucked me in when I was young.  Tim Burton’s portrayal of the Batman franchise brought the franchise into new grounds, making a visually stunning movie that appealed to both kids as well as adults.  Batman is deservedly the second highest grossing Batman movie of all time, coming in with $411.3 million worldwide ($251.2 million domestic and $160.1 million overseas).

3. Batman Begins

The first movie in the Christopher Nolan Batman series, was the first movie to bring Batman into an all new platform.  Nolan imagined a hypothetical question: If Batman were a real life story, what would the story look like?  The first in a series garnered mainly to adults paid off for Nolan when it grossed a worldwide total of $372.7 million at the box office.  As great as that sounds, that actually ranks it at 173rd place for the highest grossing movies of all time, compared to its sequel, The Dark Knight, which holds the 12th place rank.

4. Batman Forever

Batman forever is one of the two movies known in comic/movie culture is one of the two Tim Burton Batman movies that sucked.  Unfortunately, it did fairly well at the box office, bringing in a worldwide total of $336.5 million, ranking it at the 219th highest grossing movie of all time.  Personal subjective opinion, I don’t know why it’s on the top 1,000 list at all.

5. Batman Returns

Shamefully, this movie comes in underneath one of the “when the Tim Burton Batman series went off the rails” movies, since I feel Batman Returns is the greatest Batman movie of all time.  Its Wintery landscape, its dark motif, the story, the writing, the settings, the cat, the penguin; everything was perfect.  Okay, I’m getting too subjective.  Objectively, this is the fifth highest grossing Batman movie since the 1980’s, and it’s the 323rd highest grossing movie of all time.  It grossed a worldwide total of $266.8 million.  This is the movie I think of when I recollect on the Tim Burton series, and that requires no explanation.

6. Batman and Robin

It grossed $238.2 million worldwide.  Less than half of that number came from domestic dollars, which makes me wonder if Americans aren’t a little smarter than the rest of the world.  It’s the 379th highest grossing movie of all time.

My prediction is that Dark Knight Rises will indeed beat the worldwide gross brought in by The Dark Knight – a prediction solely based on the hype of the movie, as well as the fact that it’s playing on nine screens at my regular theater, and I got two of the last twenty seats.  I don’t, however, feel it will beat out The Avengers in either domestic or worldwide dollars – a prediction not made out of bias, but out of pure mathematics.  If it does, this year could very well prove to be one of the highest grossing years for the entire film-making industry.  This is good for all of us simply because the more money the big blockbusters gross, the more money there is to go around for the more artistic, independent and original movies, such as Frankenweenie and Moonrise Kingdom.

No matter, I’m looking forward to Dark Knight Rises so much that I’m still awake at 3:18 in the morning writing about it, and you’re currently reading about it.

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By C. Allen Thompson Posted in Movies

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