BURBANK, Calif., April 9 (UPI) -- Marvel Studios films have become the biggest movie franchise of all time in North America.
The huge success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier has pushed the franchise's total gross earnings up to $2.46 billion. This exceeds even Harry Potter and Star Wars, whose films have earned $2.39 billion and $1.91 billion, respectively.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier has received rave reviews since its U.S. release last week, and set an April box-office record with its $96.2 million opening weekend. Anticipation is high for Marvel's next movie release -- The Amazing Spider Man 2 -- set to debut in theaters on May 2.
Marvel has already announced plans for a string of upcoming films, including X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy later this year, Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 and Captain America 3 in 2016. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that the company's "map" of films extends all the way to 2028.
"It's like looking through the Hubble telescope," Feige laughs. "You go, 'What's happening back there? I can sort of see it.'"