Top 10 DC Superhero Movies Ranked by Popularity (2023 Update)

By Klein Felt Posted:
DC, Joker, The Batman, Aquaman, Black Adam, Shazam

The list of the most in-demand DC films of 2022 has been revealed, as the super-powered brand heads into a new era. 

2022 was a banner year for Warner Bros. and its DC big-screen efforts. While the blue brand did not have the output or financial success (The Batman aside) it has in the past, it ushered in new DC Studios leadership in James Gunn and Peter Safran

This new regime at the top of the DC Universe (DCU) has sparked a renewed interest in the franchise, with audiences sitting in eager anticipation for what is to come both in (and out) of the costumed universe

DC's Most In-Demand Movies

New data from Parrot Analytics (via The Wrap) has listed what were 2022's most in-demand DC superhero films. 

The global entertainment research firm defines demand as the measure of combined desire, engagement, and viewership for each piece of content on social media platforms as well as "audience activity on informational sites like Wikipedia and free streaming sites.

The metric is the difference from the demand for the average title, as a multiple of demand for the average movie over the same length of time.

Here is the full list of DC's 10 most in-demand films of 2022:

10.) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - 10.30x

Warner Bros.

At number 10 is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The oft-maligned Zack Snyder team-up film saw Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman go up against Henry Cavil's Superman/Clark Kent. Despite being almost seven years old, the 2016 blockbuster was still on the mind of audiences, drawing in 10.30 times more demand than Parrot Analytics Average.

9.) Birds of Prey - 12.39x

Birds of Prey
Warner Bros.

Another legacy title to make this list was 2020's Birds of Prey. The Harley Quinn solo story is one of the more celebrated DCEU outings. And with big names like Margot Robbie being in the conversation for a future in James Gunn and Peter Safran's new DC Universe, of course, her film was going to be in the top 10. 

8.) Man of Steel - 12.42x

Man of Steel
Warner Bros.

Man of Steel has been able to keep audiences interested in the movie more than 10 years after it hit theaters. The DCEU kick-off film likely saw elevated interest in 2022 because of the Henry Cavill return situation, and the very public game of 'will they, won't they' that was played with a potential Man of Steel 2 in the later part of the year. 

7.) Shazam! - 16.43x

Warner Bros.

The reason Shazam! is here, is the same as a number of other titles on this list. It's because it has a sequel coming very soon. Add in the fact that the character of Shazam is closely tied with the star DCEU's only movie of 2022, Black Adam, and it makes sense why the super-powered comedy would show up on this list. 

6.) Aquaman - 19.08x

Warner Bros.

Another DC film set for a sequel on the horizon is 2018's Aquaman. This high level of demand likely has to do with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom coming later this year, as well as star Jason Momoa becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood. 

5.) Joker - 22.81x

Warner Bros.

The first DC Elseworlds story to pop up here is Joker. Todd Phillips grounded Gotham-based drama, also has a sequel coming next year in Joker: Folie à Deux. Also being as celebrated as Joker has been, with star Joaquin Phoenix winning Oscar glory at the 2020 Academy Awards, this film is unique amongst its DC brethren, as it draws interest from both DC fans and audiences who may never think about diving into the blue brand.

4.) Black Adam - 23.04x

Black Adam
Warner Bros.

Being the DCEU's only theatrical release of 2022, one would expect Black Adam to show on this sort of list; however, what is interesting is how it is beaten by three other movies (two of which did not even come out last year). This likely has to do with Black Adam not necessarily being a household name at this point, despite star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's best efforts. 

3.) The Suicide Squad -24.82x

Suicide Squad
Warner Bros.

The Suicide Squad taking its place as the third most in-demand DC movie of 2022 likely has a lot to do with its director. Being DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn's DC debut the film likely saw a lot of interest amongst audiences looking to see who the new DC executive was. It also helps that the critically-acclaimed film had a just as beloved TV spin-off airing last year in the John Cena-starring Peacemaker

2.) Wonder Woman 1984 -26.57x

Warner Bros.

Despite receiving dismal reviews back in December 2020, it seems as though Wonder Woman 1984 has remained atop the minds of many, coming in second in Parrot's data. This elevated interest is probably because of the conversations surrounding star Gal Gadot's future with the franchise and the cancelation of Wonder Woman 3.

1.) The Batman - 61.55x

The Batman
Warner Bros.

And sitting atop the pile is Matt Reeves' The Batman. This new take on the world of the caped crusader captured audiences' attention for much of last year, with the DC epic becoming one of the biggest movies of 2022. After release, The Batman managed to stay in the conversation with the announcement of multiple spin-off projects, garnering 61.55 times the interest of Parrot Analytics' average. 

What This Data Means for DC Going Forward

Looking at these numbers one can see why Warner Bros. wants to go in a new direction with its big-screen DC storytelling.

The DCEU's only new movie of the year came in at fourth, being beaten by two older DC titles and The Batman (a DC Elseworlds story taking place outside of the main DCU canon). 

What will be fascinating to watch is what these numbers look like this coming year for the next few years as the DCU heads into its new chapter

With four new DC blockbusters set for release this year (Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom), fans will be keeping an eye out this time next year to see where these new entries fall on the list, if anywhere. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.