Marvel/DC: Merchandising vs. Ticket Sales – Which Brings in More Revenue?

When it comes to the world of superheroes, Marvel and DC are undoubtedly the two biggest players. These comic book giants have not only dominated the comic book industry but have also made a significant impact in the world of movies, television, and merchandise. But which brings in more revenue for these companies – merchandising or ticket sales? Let’s delve into this topic and find out.

Box Office Revenue

Both Marvel and DC have had their fair share of box office successes. Marvel’s cinematic universe, in particular, has been a massive hit, with movies like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Panther” breaking box office records. According to Box Office Mojo, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grossed over .5 billion worldwide. DC, on the other hand, has had hits like “The Dark Knight” and “Wonder Woman,” with their movies grossing over .3 billion worldwide.

Merchandising Revenue

Merchandising is another significant revenue stream for both Marvel and DC. This includes everything from action figures and clothing to video games and home decor. According to a report by CNBC, Disney (which owns Marvel) made .5 billion from consumer products in 2019. While it’s hard to determine how much of that is specifically from Marvel merchandise, it’s safe to say that it’s a substantial amount. DC, owned by Warner Bros., also makes a significant amount from merchandising, though exact figures are harder to come by.

Comparing the Two

When comparing the two revenue streams, it’s important to note that they are not mutually exclusive. A successful movie can drive merchandise sales, and vice versa. However, if we were to compare the two directly, it seems that box office revenue might have the edge. The sheer scale of the global box office, combined with the massive success of certain films, can lead to astronomical revenue figures.

Other Factors to Consider

While box office and merchandising are significant, they are not the only sources of revenue for these companies. Licensing deals, streaming rights, and even comic book sales all contribute to the bottom line. Additionally, the profitability of each movie or piece of merchandise can vary greatly, so revenue is not the only measure of success.


In conclusion, both box office revenue and merchandising are crucial for Marvel and DC. While box office revenue might bring in more money overall, merchandising provides a steady and reliable income stream. Ultimately, the success of these companies relies on a combination of these factors, along with others like licensing and streaming rights.