From X-Men's modest $296 million box office total to Avengers: Endgame's $2 billion, it's easy to see that comic book movies have become box office juggernauts over the last two decades. But why now? Comics have been around since World War II, so why are movies based on comics just now becoming popular? What, if anything, has changed?
Comic book movies have always been popular.
Comic book movies have, with few exceptions, always been box office hits. The recent boom in comic book movies is simply a result of studios being more willing to make diverse superhero movies with characters other than Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman.
Comic book movies have long been popular, they just haven't been very successful
Over the last couple of decades, nothing has really changed to effect whether comic book movies are popular or not. Rather, Hollywood has finally perfected the formula for a good comic book movie after decades of minor successes.
Comic book movies are only recently becoming popular.
Comic book movies have only recently become popular. There are a few cases of superhero movies being cultural phenomena in the 1900s, but the genre has never seen success like it is seeing now.
Realistic CGI has made comic book movies popular
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has come a long way in the past couple of decades. What was once impossible to show the audience has now become possible. This makes comic book films more realistic and enjoyable.
The comics that most comic book movies today are based on came out in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Lots of adults with disposable income were raised on these heroes and their stories. Younger demographics enjoy the novelty of these stories. This allows comic book movies to appeal to a wide audience.