Throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, comic book fans had seen their fair share of DC Comics heroes grace the big screen, with both Superman and Batman getting a number of feature films, but Marvel fans had to settle for small-screen adventures for decades. In 2000, things changed entirely for true believers, as 20th Century Fox delivered the live-action X-Men, having secured the rights from Marvel at a time when the comics publisher was struggling financially. While comic fans were well aware of the characters, the film's success wasn't a guarantee, marking an ambitious endeavor featuring somewhat obscure characters in an ensemble mostly comprised of lesser-known stars.
That gamble paid off both financially and critically, with X-Men going on to earn nearly $300 million worldwide on a budget of roughly $75 million, while the film sits at 81% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only was the film a success on its own merits, it also proved that Marvel characters had just as much big-screen potential as DC Comics characters, resulting in Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and Daredevil all getting their own films in subsequent years. Despite the 2000s seeing both highs and lows for superhero cinema, it was X-Men's effectiveness that paved the way for more Marvel films, eventually leading to the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of X-Men, fans took to social media to share their appreciation for the certified game-changing superhero adventure.
When I was a kid I watched the X-Men animated show. Cyclops was my favorite hero at the time. He's still top 3.— JΛY (@JayVillarreal_) July 14, 2020
I though James Marsden was the perfect guy to play Cyclops because he looked so much like the cartoon.
I appreciate this movie A LOT.#XMen20 pic.twitter.com/dHrAVBhVLo
Was this seriously the tagline for the first X-Men movie pic.twitter.com/6oHMmWktP6— Adam Attley (@AdamAttley) July 14, 2020
Feels Like Yesterday
Good lord... it feels like yesterday. The X-Men movie came out 20 years ago in this date. Yeah I geeked out during it. pic.twitter.com/CAGlre8gdt— Lamar the Revenger (@RevengerLamar) July 14, 2020
Most Important Movie
Happy 20 years to X-Men. Likely the most important comic book movie ever made. pic.twitter.com/MQynJjL1MT— Donovan Erskine (@Donimals_) July 14, 2020
Happy 20th Anniversary to the original X-Men movie from the year 2000. I still have my comic book that the theater employees gave us from opening day, when I saw them movie with my uncle. #XMen pic.twitter.com/KYYzZlpO0V— 𝔸𝕝𝕖𝕩 𝕍𝕒𝕝𝕕𝕖𝕫 (@AV__Tweeting) July 14, 2020
The first X-Men movie gets the credit for helping kickstart Hollywood's superhero craze that should be going to Blade (1998) instead— Gucci Manesa Musa (@CineMasai_) July 14, 2020
Set the Tone
20 years ago today, X-Men was released in theaters. As the first big comic book movie of the new millennium, it set the tone for future productions, such as its own sequels, Sony's Spider-Man films, the Dark Knight trilogy, and the MCU and DCEU. pic.twitter.com/G1BPFaHbMw— Platitudinous (29 days 🎊) (@Platitudinous_X) July 14, 2020
The First CBM that took me to the world of loving the Genre was The X-Men Franchise & Raimi Spider-Man.
I loved how unique & different each film was even the so called bad ones, they took risks & pushed the characters.July 14, 2020
A New Eraprevnext
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.