Superheroes swung into action this summer, causing record high box office numbers that haven’t been seen since Titanic, which is currently the number one highest grossing domestic film of all time. However, The Dark Knight, which was released on July 18, 2008, has recently surpassed Star Wars as the number two highest grossing domestic film. The film earned $988,168,474 worldwide so far, with $526,068,474 domestic and $462,100,00 foreign.
This achievement of a box office favorite has sparked Hollywood into superhero frenzy. Adding to the flame is the recently premiered Iron Man, which topped number one in the box office the first two weekends in a row. Superhero films achieved staggering numbers that impressed Hollywood producers, spawning an enormous wave of superhero movies currently in production.
In the year to come, three long-awaited superhero movies fly into theaters. Punisher: War Zone is about the Punisher, an ex-cop who wants revenge for the death of his family by the mob. It's set to release on December 5, 2008. Furthermore, The Spirit, directed by Frank Miller, is fighting its way into cinemas worldwide on December 25, 2008, telling the tale of an ex-detective who had to stop working for the police and started working solo, catching criminals not for the law, but the bounty placed on the criminal’s head. The Watchmen, which will be released soon after The Spirit, is based on the graphic novel, which is currently on Time magazine's best 100 novels list. It elaborates a political satire set in an alternate universe in which superheroes are a part of everyday society. These films are riding on the hopes that they will achieve the box office standing that The Dark Knight and Iron Man achieved.
The Dark Knight also inspired a new set of Hollywood productions that have been on hold to resurface and start shooting. One such case is the Superman reboot, which has been on hold since the release of Superman Returns. The sequel has been on hold due to the fact that Superman Returns scored low box office numbers when it released. However, a new approach has been taken to this comic hero, and a new film is currently on the way. The film will be released around the same time as the sequels to The Dark Knight and Iron Man, whose dates of release has not been determined yet.