Ranking Marvel Studios' 10 Highest-Grossing Movies Before THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER Blasts Into Theaters

With just a couple of weeks to go before Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters, we're looking back at Marvel Studios' 10 highest-grossing movies at the global box office and ranking all of them...

Since Iron Man was released in 2008, Marvel Studios has managed to produce hit after hit at the worldwide box office. Up until Avatar was unexpectedly re-released during the pandemic, Avengers: Endgame was actually the highest-grossing movie ever released in theaters, and over the past year, we've seen that not even COVID could slow the studio's momentum down.

Black Widow delivered solid numbers even with a dual theatrical and Disney+ release, while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also pulled in respectable takings at a time the theatrical experience was at risk. Eternals admittedly struggled a little, but Spider-Man: No Way Home broke records and the Doctor Strange sequel earned just shy of $1 billion. 

Ahead of Thor: Love and Thunder's release, we've rounded up the ten highest-grossing MCU movies of all time and ranked them from worst to best. This is just one opinion, of course, and we're sure you'll have your own takes that we'd love to hear in the comments section below. However, something tells us you'll be surprised by what ends up where in this ranking.

To take a look through the feature, all you guys have to do is click on the "Next" button!
 

10. Iron Man 3 ($1,214,811,252 - #7)

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The first of Marvel Studios' solo movies to gross over $1 billion, Iron Man 3 may not be fondly remembered by a lot of fans, but it was still a hit for the then still expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Shane Black was the right director to build on the comedic tone set by The Avengers, while still exploring what it means for Tony Stark to be Iron Man in the wake of Loki's attack on New York City. Iron Patriot felt a little shoehorned in, and there's no getting around the fact that Rebecca Hall was wasted as Maya Hansen. 

Of course, the biggest disappointment for the majority was that big Mandarin reveal. 

Iron Man 3 is still a pretty great movie overall, though, and only ranks at the bottom of this list because of the stiff competition it faces from its fellow highest-grossing MCU movies. 
 

9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron ($1,405,403,694 - #5)

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Avengers: Age of Ultron was a much more ambitious movie than its predecessor, but was it better? James Spader knocked it out of the park as Ultron (even if the villain was a little too snarky), while it managed to squeeze a lot into a pretty reasonable runtime.

That included the introductions of characters like the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and The Vision, two of whom have been a crucial part of the MCU since. 

The sequel was a tad directionless in places (just look at Thor's weird story arc), but there was plenty of fun to be had here. It also gave us its fair share of iconic moments in this shared world, including Captain America - nearly - lifting Mjolnir, the Hulkbuster battling The Hulk, and some killer shots of the team assembled. 

Joss Whedon delivered a strong follow-up here, even if there was some room for improvement. 
 

8. Captain Marvel ($1,128,274,794 - #10)

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Carol Danvers' origin story was a little too familiar in some respects, and we probably could have done without the whole amnesia subplot. The movie might have been better off embracing its cosmic side a little more, but it was fun to visit the MCU in the 1990s, particularly as it means we got to catch up with younger versions of Nick Fury and Agent Coulson.

The story behind how the former lost his eye was played for laughs and we're still not sure why the Skrulls were portrayed in a heroic light, but this was a movie it was hard not to have fun with. 

Ben Mendelsohn was clearly having a blast as Talos, and while the Yon-Rogg reveal was expected, we definitely want to see more of Jude Law in the MCU. 

As an introduction to Carol, Captain Marvel worked really well and helped set the stage for a lot of future stories. Best of all, it established Carol as a legit powerhouse and justified the way she ultimately dominated Thanos in Avengers: Endgame
 

7. The Avengers ($1,518,812,988 - #4)

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The Avengers may seem relatively small in scale compared to today's superhero movies, but at the time...well, this was the first time these characters ever assembled on screen.

That alone means it holds a very special place in our hearts, and while mistakes were definitely made (Captain America's costume has to be somewhere near the top of the list), those are easy enough to forgive. Even after seeing pretty much every MCU hero there is teaming up in Avengers: Endgame, it's still hard not to get chills when the heroes come together here. 

Throw in that Hulk redesign, the Jade Giant's battle with Thor, and Tom Hiddleston knocking it out of the park as Loki, and there's no way this shouldn't be considered a classic.

As we said, it just feels a tad underwhelming in comparison to what we're now used to watching. 
 

6. Avengers: Infinity War ($2,048,359,754 - #2)

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Avengers: Infinity War is a very busy movie, but the Russo Brothers made everything about it work (despite the fact it was just setting up a much bigger sorry in the sequel). 

While it split Earth's Mightiest Heroes up across the MCU, that meant getting to see some unexpected character interactions like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange hanging out with Guardians of the Galaxy. There's just so much to love about this movie, with Black Panther leading the charge in Wakanda an undeniable highlight.

Josh Brolin, meanwhile, delivered one of this shared world's best villains to date with Thanos, an incredible VFX creation who was in many ways more fun to follow than the Avengers themselves. 

Of course, it's that jaw-dropping ending we'll never forget. Killing off half the characters we love was a ballsy move on Marvel's part, but one that worked perfectly.
 

5. Captain America: Civil War ($1,153,304,495 - #8)

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While Captain America: Civil War had little in common with the comic book event it borrowed its name from, seeing the Avengers square off on screen was still epic on every single level. 

In some ways, we wish Marvel Studios had held off on making this until they had more heroes to make use of here, but we got a phenomenal new villain in Daniel Bruhl's Zemo, and it was impossible to fault the battles that did play out on screen. The Russo Brothers brought plenty of epic action to the table here, and successfully introduced Spider-Man to the MCU.

That was a huge part of this movie and one fans definitely appreciated. Yes, Spidey only had a few minutes of screentime, but we never imagined getting to see him face off with the like of Captain America, Giant-Man, and Bucky.

This movie is too often overlooked by fans and is an undeniable classic. 
 

4. Spider-Man: Far From Home ($1,131,927,996 - #9)

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The first Spider-Man movie to gross over $1 billion, Spider-Man: No Way Home once again did something new with the web-slinger, taking him out of New York City on an adventure that saw him teaming up with Mysterio across Europe. 

The big reveal that Quentin Beck was, in fact, a villain wasn't hard to see coming and it's about time Marvel Studios moves on from Peter Parker needed a father figure/mentor. 

Regardless, that illusion scene remains one of the best sequences ever seen in the MCU and the mid-credits scene with J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson...well, it was a jaw-dropper and nothing we saw coming. Director Jon Watts proved himself a perfect fit for Spidey with this movie (though we were pretty confident that was the case after Homecoming). 

This was a classic Spider-Man movie and definitely one of the best Marvel Studios movies to date. 
 

3. Black Panther ($1,346,913,171 - #6)

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This was a masterpiece, and the first Marvel Studios movie to be nominated for "Best Picture" at the Oscars. 

Honestly, Black Panther should have won, and the late, great Chadwick Boseman put himself on the map with an incredible take on T'Challa that really resonated with people. "Wakanda Forever" became more than just a catchphrase, and both the actor and character inspired people of all races across the globe. 

This was a special movie, and one that director Ryan Coogler ensured left a lasting impact. Michael B. Jordan was every bit as good as Boseman, and the visuals here were breathtaking. 

It feels wrong not to put this at the top of our ranking, but the next two movies are damn hard to beat...
 

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1,901,228,407 - #3)

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Spider-Man: No Way Home had a highly secretive marketing campaign that built excitement to a point where everyone was desperate to see whether Tom Holland's web-slinger would share the screen with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Just the return of those familiar villains alone was exciting, though, so it's no wonder this movie broke box office records. 

When the epic final chapter in Jon Watts' Spider-Man trilogy did swing into theaters, it proved to be an emotional rollercoaster and a spectacular team-up fans could have only dreamed they would one day see in the MCU. 

Generating serious Oscar buzz, this fan-pleasing hit may have saved the big screen experience, and delivered the sort of moments that had fans standing up and cheering in multiplexes. It was a special ride and one we hope doesn't mark Holland and Watts' final collaboration. 

We nearly put this at #1, but our next entry just managed to pip it to the top spot. 
 

1. Avengers: Endgame ($2,797,800,564 - #1)

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Marvel Studios' highest-grossing movie is also its best. 

Avengers: Endgame told a story on a scale unlike anything else we've ever seen on the big screen, taking us on a trip through time and boldly killing off some beloved characters in the process. Simply put, there are too many highlights to mention, though the "Portals" scene is without a doubt iconic. 

Along the way, we also bid farewell to Iron Man in one of the MCU's most emotional scenes, while seeing Captain America fight his past self...well, it was awesome. That final battle, in particular, was packed full of unforgettable moments, and as a conclusion to the "Infinity Saga," Marvel Studios really couldn't have delivered a better ending than this. 

It's going to take a lot to top this, and perhaps the only way that will happen is if we get an Avengers vs. X-Men or Secret Wars movie (with the Russos at the helm) somewhere down the line...
 

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