Between 1989 and 1997, Warner Bros. Pictures produced four live-action Batman movies. The films were incredibly popular and featured an assorted cast that included Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, amongst others.

The films included Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997). Collectively, the movies are known as the Batman Anthology.

The first two movies in the Anthology were directed by Tim Burton. The second two were directed by Joel Schumacher.

So, those are the movies, but how well did they do at the box office?

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Batman

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Batman was given a production budget of $35 million and went on to make $251,348,343 at the North American box office. It made $160,160,000 at the international box office, producing (for the time) a huge result for the studio.

  • Batman total: $411,508,343

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Batman Returns

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Produced on a budget of $80 million (an increase on Batman’s budget), Batman Returns made $162,902,340 domestically and $103,990,656 internationally. While this wasn’t as successful as its predecessor, it still made a mark at the box office.

  • Batman Returns total: $266,892,996
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Batman Forever

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Batman Forever was given a production budget of $100 million (another increase from the previous film). The movie took $184,069,126 in North America, with an additional $152,498,032 coming from the international box office – making it a bigger hit than Batman Returns.

  • Batman Forever total: $336,567,158

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Batman & Robin

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

The production budget for Batman & Robin was $125 million (yet another increase). The movie made $107,353,792 domestically and $130,881,927 internationally.

  • Batman & Robin total: $238,235,719

As you can see, across the course of the series the totals vary considerably – as do the production budgets. But what does all this equate to?

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

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Conclusion

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Those are the individual totals – now let’s combine them.

  • Batman total: $411,508,343
  • Batman Returns total: $266,892,996
  • Batman Forever total: $336,567,158
  • Batman & Robin total: $238,235,719

Batman Anthology total: $1,253,204,216

The conclusion? The films were very successful for Warner Bros. Pictures, even though the box office totals peak and trough throughout the run.

The biggest problem is the production budgets which continue to rise with each film. If you compare the production budget of Batman ($35 million) with that of Batman & Robin ($125 million), then look at the box office results for each film, you can see why the series ultimately came to an end – they were costing too much to make when compared to the investment.

But that said, the films were popular and exceeded $1 billion across the course of four movies. Warner Bros. Pictures struck gold with Batman and squeezed out as much money from the Anthology as possible.

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I hope you have found these box office details to be informative. If you would like to discover more about the Batman film series, check out my post: ‘Can the Batman movies be watched in any order?or for a more in-depth look at the box office performance of the series, check out: The highest grossing Batman movie.

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