Avengers: Infinity War's domestic box office has now passed Justice League's total worldwide gross. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel Studios' 10th-anniversary offering brought together almost all heroes in the MCU as they gallantly fought Mad Titan Thanos. On top of setting several new box office records, it has also become the fastest film to earn $1 billion, and only the fourth movie to pocket $2 billion.
Justice League, on the other hand, is a different story. Only the fifth movie from the DCEU, the film, which rolled out back in November, was criticized for its inconsistent tone and thin plot. Marred by several controversies, including rumors of numerous script re-writes even before filming began, director switch (Joss Whedon taking over reshoots following original helmsman Zack Snyder's exit) and the infamous Henry Cavill/Superman mustache issue to name a few, the film became the lowest grossing film in the budding franchise. A shame, given that it could've easily been the franchise's biggest movie.
After seven weeks in theaters, Avengers: Infinity War's domestic gross has reached $660 million, thus passing Justice League's global box office haul of $657 million. This is not entirely surprising given that Avengers 3 out-grossed Justice League's overall earning in barely a week in cinemas. The Marvel juggernaut has also passed James Cameron's Titanic's $659 million earning (unadjusted for ticket price inflation and premium formats), making it the fourth biggest movie of all-time, domestically - behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936 million), Cameron’s Avatar ($760 million), and another Marvel Studios' flick, Black Panther ($699 million). Interestingly, this also results in Disney having three of the top five domestic movies ever - two of which are from its Marvel Studios branch and both in 2018.
Despite the age-old DC vs Marvel rivalry that has since spilled from comic books and over into the big screen, it's actually quite unfair to compare Infinity War and Justice League. The former was built up for the most part of the last decade, with 18 generally-liked other movies leading up to it (and billions of dollars spent). The latter, on the other hand, is Warner Bros.' first official ensemble superhero movie. While it could've easily been a billion dollar earner considering that it featured some of the most iconic superheroes ever in Batman and Superman, it didn't help its cause that it's preceded by mostly divisive standalone films, not to mention all the bad publicity it received due to several controversies during its production.
But for the sake of seeing how the MCU and DCEU stack-up against each other, it's arguably better to compare Justice League's and The Avengers' box office numbers considering that they both had the same task of wrapping up the first phase, so to speak, of their respective franchises. But seeing how well Avengers: Infinity War has performed, especially internationally in countries like China, just goes to show what could've been for Justice League. Of course, times are changing, and the tables can certainly turn in the future.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019