Top 6 Most Popular Superhero Movie Franchises In 2023

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man

New data revealed the half-dozen most popular superhero movie franchises that fans want to see in 2023 from Marvel and DC.

Even with the potential for a number of movies to suffer setbacks due to the ongoing writer's strike, Marvel and DC remain two of the biggest names in Hollywood thanks to their efforts over the last few years.

Disney and Marvel are pushing forward to the best of their ability with the MCU's Phase 5 slate in 2023 and 2024 with Phase 6 moving further into development. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. will finish off the old DCEU with three more movie releases this year before a new slate of entries from Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters takes the spotlight.

But the real question is - which movie franchises are more popular than the rest as the superhero mania continues to grow?

The Most In-Demand Superhero Movie Franchises

The Wrap shared a new report from Parrot Analytics analyzing the six most in-demand superhero movie franchise IPs to date, which were ranked by demand in the United States between 2018 and 2022.

For perspective, Parrot Analytics defines "in-demand" as the combined desire, engagement, and viewership for each franchise on social media websites along with audience activity on free streaming sites and information sources like Wikipedia.

The demand is later calculated and displayed as a multiple of that franchise's demand against the demand of the average movie over the same time period.

1.) Avengers - 100% Demand

Avengers Infinity War
Marvel Studios

It's no surprise to see the Avengers franchise at the top of this ranking, with 2018's Avengers: Infinity War and 2019's Avengers: Endgame grossing nearly $5 billion in combined box office revenue and all four movies grossing more than $1.4 billion.

Even with those being the only two Avengers movies to release during that timeframe, this series is still the MCU's crown jewel, bringing together crowds all over the world in person and in conversations online.

This new team will re-assemble for potentially their biggest adventures yet in 2025's Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and 2026's Avengers: Secret Wars, which could find a way to outdo their predecessors in ways fans have never seen before.

2.) Spider-Man - 99% Demand

Spider-Man No Way Home
Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures released three Spider-Man movies between 2018 and 2022, with 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse turning into one of the most popular animated movies in history (winning an Oscar for Best Animated Feature). 

Then, both of the MCU's Spider-Man movies crossed $1 billion in revenue, which included Spider-Man: No Way Home becoming a cultural phenomenon with its Multiverse-breaking shenanigans as it nearly broke the $2 billion mark globally.

Spider-Man's popularity should continue to rise later in 2023 with the highly-anticipated animated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and Sony and Marvel Studios are already hard at work planning the story for the untilted Spider-Man 4.

3.) Batman - 68% Demand

The Batman
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. jumped back into Caped Crusader stories with The Batman in 2022, which helped put the studio on top of the entertainment world with incredible reviews from critics and a $771 million box office haul.

Even with this being the only theatrical release for Batman since 2018, the Caped Crusader still holds a massive pull amongst fans, especially with 2019's Joker also pulling in success with over $1 billion at the box office and 11 Oscar nominations.

Bruce Wayne and more major characters from that universe will continue on in the next few years with The Batman - Part II, Joker: Folie à Deux, and Chapter 1's The Brave and The Bold.

4.) Thor - 41% Demand

Marvel Studios

Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder became the first MCU hero to get his fourth solo movie in 2022 with Thor: Love and Thunder, which wound up being more popular and successful than most fans expected.

As one of the OG Avengers, Thor remains incredibly popular amongst viewers ad Phase 4 and Phase 5 continue to develop, especially after Natalie Portman brought her own take on Thor to life through Jane Foster.

While it's still unclear where Hemsworth's hero will go from here, there is still a fair amount of demand for the character, especially with many hopeful for his inclusion in Avengers 5 and Avengers 6.

5.) X-Men - 39% Demand

20th Century

Although 2018-2022 only delivered X-Men movies that earned largely negative reviews in Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, the team's MCU potential still keeps them in high demand for the next few years.

Kamala Khan was revealed to be a mutant in Ms. Marvel shortly after Patrick Stewart's return as Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with Namor the Sub-Mariner becoming the first self-proclaimed mutant in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

And while only Marvel Studios itself know exactly when the X-Men will finally be infused with the rest of the narrative, anticipation is high to see the mutants interact with the MCU's already-established warriors.

6.) Deadpool - 24% Demand

20th Century

2018 brought Ryan Reynolds' second Deadpool solo movie Deadpool 2, which edged out its predecessor at the box office to become the second-highest-grossing R-rated movie in history behind 2019's Joker.

Reynolds is also well on his way to joining the MCU with 2024's Deadpool 3, which is said to be the first Marvel Studios production to truly push the boundaries of the Multiverse for the first time.

And with Hugh Jackman's thrilling comeback as Wolverine in place along with rumors hinting at multiple characters from Loki joining the fray, Deadpool's popularity should only skyrocket from here regardless of the R-rating.

Which Superhero Movies Will Remain in Demand?

Even considering all the troubles that superhero movies are having these days, it's clear that Marvel and DC are still pulling in plenty of viewership and remaining popular amongst the crowd.

It's no surprise seeing Spider-Man and Batman at the top of this list, as they've been Marvel and DC's most popular solo heroes for most of the last few decades, as have the Avengers in the 21st century from a team perspective.

And with many fans anxious to see the X-Men move from their own universe into the MCU, demand is slowly rising to see them on the big screen regardless of how lackluster their more recent releases have been.

Hope remains high that Marvel's issues will resolve themselves while excitement builds to see what DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran will do with their new slate, keeping superheroes at the forefront for the foreseeable future.

Marvel Studios returns to the big screen with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on Friday, May 5. DC will continue with The Flash on June 16.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.