Much as it might seem like a handful of billion-dollar-grossing movies arrive in cinemas every year, the actual number to have managed this feat currently stands at just two dozen. Nonetheless, in an age in which movie studios appear hell-bent on foregoing mid-range investments to gamble big in the hopes of even bigger payoffs, expect the number of films that breach the billion-dollar barrier to increase exponentially.
Of course, Captain America: Civil War has surely already cleared this hurdle and now has Iron Man 3 in its sights as it looks to become Marvel’s highest grossing film outside the (official) Avengers movies. That Marvel, who under Kevin Feige have virtually perfected the art of delivering blockbusters that chime with fans and critics alike, can now boast four billion-dollar grossers is no surprise. Conversely, that Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, featuring as it does two (three?) of the most recognisable, iconic characters in the history of storytelling, is finishing its theatrical run with around $870 million reminds just how difficult a feat it is.
Five films managed to gross over a billion in 2015 – comfortably more than in any other year – but what of 2016? Now that the billion-dollar club is essentially open for business, here are the contenders coming your way between now and Christmas.