The Warner Bros. film is anticipated to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year: Films based on Batman have notched more $5 billion at the worldwide box office.
But which actor has made the most at the ticket booth as the Caped Crusader?
The hero has been portrayed by all types of stars over the years, so here’s a list of what each live action Batman has brought in at the domestic box office, from lowest to highest, since 1989’s “Batman,” according to Comscore (SCOR).
(Warner Bros. like CNN is owned by WarnerMedia.)
5. George Clooney
1997’s “Batman and Robin”
Box office haul: $107.3 million
Adjusted for inflation: $214.1 million
George Clooney is arguably the biggest name to play the Batman character, but his turn as the hero brought in the lowest take.
The actor starred in only one film, and unfortunately for him that film was “Batman and Robin.” That movie, which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as the villain Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, is considered to be the worst Batman movie (and also one of the worst films ever made). It holds a 12% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes.
Even Clooney himself has joked that he destroyed the franchise.
4. Val Kilmer
1995’s “Batman Forever”
Box office haul: $184.1 million
Adjusted for inflation: $387.7 million
Val Kilmer also played Batman only once, but his take on Gotham’s hero in “Batman Forever” was the No. 1 film of 1995. That’s no small achievement considering that the film made more than blockbusters like “Apollo 13,” “Toy Story” and “GoldenEye” that year.
It likely helped the film’s totals that Kilmer was joined by an all-star cast of Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones and Nicole Kidman.
That said, “Batman Forever” didn’t garner great reviews, either. It notched a 39% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
3. Ben Affleck
2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and 2017’s “Justice League”
Box office haul: $559.4 million
Adjusted for inflation: $583.7 million
Unlike his counterparts, Ben Affleck never really got to be alone as the Caped Crusader on the big screen.
The actor starred in two films, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League,” which included a litany of other DC superheroes such as Superman and Wonder Woman. Affleck also starred as Batman in Zack Snyder’s director cut of “Justice League,” which was released on HBO Max last March, and he made a cameo as Batman in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.” as well.
Affleck will reprise his role as the Dark Knight in this year’s “The Flash” — an experience he called “really fun.” The film is set for November 4.
2. Michael Keaton
1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s “Batman Returns”
Box office haul: $415.3 million
Adjusted for inflation: $939.1 million
Michael Keaton kicked off the modern era of Batman on film with 1989’s “Batman.” The Tim Burton film was a sensation, becoming the top film of that year. Its sequel also nabbed the top spot at the box office in 1992.
Keaton was joined by major stars in both films with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer portraying two of Batman’s greatest foes, The Joker and Catwoman.
Although Keaton hasn’t played the character in 30 years, he, like Affleck, will return as Batman once again in “The Flash.”
1. Christian Bale
2005’s “Batman Begins,” 2008’s “The Dark Knight” and 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises”
What the films made before inflation: $1.19 billion
What the films made after inflation: $1.49 billion
Christian Bale is the undisputed champion of Batman actors at the box office.
Bale starred in three films, all of which went on to become some of the most popular films in box office history.
The Dark Knight Trilogy, which was directed by Christopher Nolan, also rebooted the Batman saga in brand news ways and arguably changed comic book cinema forever.
Those films were beloved by audiences and critics, a rare occurrence with superhero movies. The second film in the trilogy, “The Dark Knight,” won two Academy Awards, including one for the late Heath Ledger’s iconic performance as The Joker. (The other was for sound editing.)