It's no secret that theDisney-ownedMarvel Studiosand theWarner Bros-ownedDC Comicshave essentially been at war these past few years as they've both managed to transform themselves into billion-dollar film juggernauts. Between 2015 and 2020,Marvelhas eleven films set to arrive, not including any Sony-produced Spider-ManfilmsorFox-produced X-Menfilms, whileDC has ten films in the works, not including potential solo films forSupermanorBatman.
A majority of the recent focus has been placed on their film futures, but The Hollywood Reporter has provided details about a key financial underpin of the war: licensing revenue. Even though it may not sound flashy, licensing revenue is just as important, if not more important, than their film revenue. However, just like the current status of their film competition, this is another aspect where Marvel reigns supreme, thanks mostly to their most popular hero (and oddly enough one of the film properties they don't own), everyone's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!
Last year, Marvel sold approximately $1.3B worth of Spider-Man products, which is approximately four times the $325M they made from the Avengers. Meanwhile, their competition over at DC has struggled to keep up. Unsurprisingly, their most popular property was Batman, who brought in a respectable $494M, while their second most popular hero, Superman, brought it about $277M.
Check out the graphs below to get a better grasp of Spider-Man's worldwide popularity as well as Marvel's current domination over DC in licensing: