Marvel Cinematic Universe Becomes First Franchise To Cross $5 Billion At North American Box Office

The thunderous success of Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok has pushed the Marvel Cinematic Universe to more than $5 billion in domestic totals alone.

The Thor threequel raked in $46 million in its first day, and is expected to bring in as much as $120 million this weekend. Worldwide, Ragnarok is projected to reach $400 million by Sunday, making it another slam dunk success for Disney-owned Marvel Studios.

Marvel Studios' self-financed shared universe launched in 2008 with Iron Man, and the franchise bypassed $10 billion at the worldwide box office in May 2016 — a feat it achieved with the blockbuster success of Captain America: Civil War, which would become the latest billion dollar grosser for the studio. 2017 previously saw the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($863 million worldwide) and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($879 million worldwide), creatively produced by Marvel Studios but owned and distributed by Sony Pictures.

Domestically, the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise has topped the Star Wars franchise ($3.3 billion, not adjusted for ticket price inflation), the Harry Potter / Wizarding World franchise ($2.6 billion), the Batman franchise (including all iterations: Batman '89 onwards, the Christopher Nolan reboot trilogy, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The LEGO Batman Movie; $2.4 billion), the James Bond franchise ($2.1 billion) and Disney's live-action re-imaginings ($2 billion).

Thor: Ragnarok's success is fueled by strong word-of-mouth and critical praise: its "certified fresh" status on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with 93% puts it just behind Iron Man (94%) and just ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming (92%) as the second best-received Marvel Studios movie. When reviews first dropped, Ragnarok was the highest-rated Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

Marvel Studios is expected to continue to add to their monumental success in 2018 with the release of February's Black Panther, May's Avengers: Infinity War and July's Ant-Man and the Wasp.

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