US superhero craze

America’s superhero fascination
Who’s winning the race?

It sank the Titanic and soared past Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Avengers: Endgame, Marvel’s latest superhero adventure surpassed the lifetime collection of the 1997 and 2009 smash hits within a few weeks of its release. No movie in the recent past has been able to achieve this humongous feat and at such great speed.

Not just that, Endgame also finally put to rest the growing debate around superhero fatigue in the US - with Americans flocking to theatres in droves to watch the starry extravaganza. The message was clear- superhero movies are here to stay. Adding weight to it were the recent successes of some of its predecessors’ like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Aquaman. To understand this growing craze and fascination, Piplsay (powered by Market Cube) reached out to fans* across the country to find out all about their favorite superheroes. These are the top 5 we came across:

America's SuperHero Fascination

A whopping 74% of Piplsay respondents said that they watch Superhero movies, even if only their favorites. Americas fascination with its caped crusaders has been nothing short of legendary, its influence going back to the days of the good old comic books. Fast forward several decades and our superheroes remain pretty much the same, displaying the same degree of valor and humanity, albeit in a modern world. Perhaps that explains why, despite the mind-boggling technology, it’s the characters that ultimately pull fans to the theatres.

Marvel may be winning the race at the box office, but it’s DC that is ultimately walking away with the trophy. 53 years since it first appeared on the big screen, Batman continues to be America’s favorite superhero. A superhero without real superpowers, there is something about the lonely brooding Bruce Wayne that has kept Americans fascinated with him for years. Ditto for his protagonist, The Joker. Heath Ledger’s iconic portrayal of a psychotic, mass murderer and schizophrenic clown continues to invoke a sense of dread and discomfort, even ten years since his first appearance.

Another DC superhero to receive much love is the iconic Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot’s portrayal as the Amazonian warrior princess came as a refreshing change in the overwhelmingly male superhero landscape. Wonder Woman went on to become the biggest weekend opening ever for a female director and the most successful female-led film in recent times. Even today, Americans rate it higher than Black Panther, despite it being a massive hit and the only superhero movie to ever receive the Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

In terms of superhero teams, nothing seems to beat the popularity of Avengers: Endgame. Right from the cliff-hanger in Infinity Wars to the emotional build-up to its release, every element worked perfectly to create just the right hype for the epic saga. Following it is Batman vs Superman, which set new box office records upon its release in 2016. Despite being dubbed as a box office disappointment, the movie had fans queuing up to watch the two most powerful superheroes taking each other on.

Over the years, American movie-goers, particularly the youngsters, have shown an insatiable appetite for superhero movies. And going by the recent successes, the trend is nowhere close to waning. Superhero movies are here to stay, and they are only going to get bigger, better and bolder.

* Based on 15,000 online responses

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