MCU Has Earned More Than Double Scorsese’s And Coppola’s Films Combined


Marvel’s place at the box office cannot be denied. Perhaps that’s why people are debating its heralded position in the world of cinema.

If you’re here, you probably know that two of the great modern auteurs – Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola – have recently made their distaste for Marvel and their ever-expanding cinematic universe perfectly clear. While Scorsese, whose loner-lunatic films Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy did more than influence Todd Phillips’ Joker, was a bit kinder in his remarks, Coppola, the man behind The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, was less so.

If you haven’t heard, here’s how the Academy Award-winning director put it:

“When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Ouch. But here’s a sticks and stones fact: the 23 films in Marvel’s catalogue have grossed more money than either director’s filmography combined.

Before we delve too deep into the numbers and figures, it’s important to note that this is not supposed to be a slam piece on either Scorsese or Coppola. In fact, I prefer their work to any film in the MCU eight days of the week (yes, eight). And besides, it’s a rather unfair argument to make, given that the corporate model behind the comic book movies makes the films much more accessible to audiences than the arthouse classics Scorsese or Coppola have made their names on.

In terms of domestic box office earnings though, Marvel has rallied an astonishing $8.54 billion over the course of 23 films, for an average of $371.53 million per production. Conversely, Coppola has grossed $2.36 billion (adjusted for inflation) for an average of $139.21 million per movie; and Scorsese, whose 24 pictures have made $1.81 billion, averages $75.78 million per outing.

Again, a box office comparison is rather unfair. Given that Avengers: Endgame has almost surpassed the two critics’ filmographies by itself, Scorsese and Coppola never really had a chance. But what these statistics do is level the playing field in a way; sure, the two auteurs can bicker all they want over whether or not Marvel movies count as “real cinema,” but at the end of the day, the filmgoing public has made their point perfectly clear as well.