With its recent debut at the top of the box office , [movie id=”345540″]”X-Men Origins: Wolverine”[/movie] broke its razor-clawed mutant free from the “X-Men” ranks and placed him among such beloved Hollywood heroes as Batman, Spider-Man and the Man of Steel. And if there’s one thing comic fans have long enjoyed, it’s discussing why one character is more powerful than another.
With that in mind, we’ve devised the Power Rankings — a unique formula that determines which comic book-based superheroes are the mightiest in Hollywood at this moment. Using a mathematical formula that multiplies opening-weekend box-office receipts (for every post-1978 film the character has been in — sorry, Adam West), Oscar nominations, the “Tomatometer” ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and times the character has topped the comic book charts in the last 13 years, we’ve assigned each character a number that reflects their prowess over fans, critics, readers and awards shows alike. And our results might surprise you.
1. Batman (Power Ranking: 26,006,400) – No superhero has ever reached the heights that Bruce Wayne is currently exploring, and our rankings reflect this fact. Batman’s rare mix of movie frequency, critical acclaim, publishing power and Oscar contention made sure that the cowl-clad hero soared high above the rest — and he scored more than 18 times higher than the next hero on the list. Batman’s ranking figures to get only higher as the Christian Bale sequels continue — especially if Christopher Nolan returns.
2. [movie id=”212984″]Spider-Man[/movie] (Power Ranking: 1,396,500) – Our friendly neighborhood web-slinger might be taking a break at the moment, but he’s still riding high in our rankings. Thanks to a solid mix of box-office power and critical acclaim, Peter Parker is no wimp in this contest. If the franchise can get past the “Spider-Man 3″ shortcomings that hurt its critical ratings and Oscar noms, there’s no reason why the upcoming “Spider-Man” movies can’t cast an even bigger web over the competition.
3. Superman (Power Ranking: 926,835) – Much like he does in the comics, our old buddy Clark Kent has a distinct advantage over the competition — thanks to five movie appearances and a publishing prowess that is still strong. Unfortunately, the mid-teens opening weekends of the ’80s aren’t very impressive anymore — and with no foreseeable plan for new movies, Wolverine might soon prove to be Supe’s kryptonite.
4. Wolverine (Power Ranking: 453,700) – Thanks to his big opening weekend, Logan is the fastest-climbing character on our power list. With talks of a sequel and multiple spin-offs soon to follow, Hugh Jackman looks primed to take the record from Christopher Reeve for most appearances as a modern movie superhero — and the spike of his Power Ranking might be as sharp as his beloved claws.
5. [movie id=”237050″]Fantastic Four[/movie] (Power Ranking: 34,770) – Sure, the geeks want to write off this family-friendly franchise — and according to what we’ve heard from Chris Evans and others, the F4 is finished. But with a top-five finish in our poll, perhaps a reboot is in order.
6. [movie id=”302714″]Iron Man[/movie] (Power Ranking: 18,972) – Possibly the hottest hero around, Tony Stark is at a distinct disadvantage here because he’s only been in one movie. But that one Hollywood hit has already leapfrogged him ahead of Hulk’s two films — and with the currently shooting “Iron Man 2″ a surefire blockbuster and “The Avengers” on the way, Wolverine might want to watch his back.
7. [movie id=”305617″]Hulk[/movie] (Power Ranking: 14,859) – They say that anger gets you nowhere — and our list seems to agree. We won’t see Hulk again until “Avengers” — if he’s even in that — so the big green guy looks like he’s stuck in neutral for the time being.
8. [movie id=”307070″]Hellboy[/movie] (Power Ranking: 9,576) – Whether Red returns for more movies is anybody’s guess. But the mere fact that the relatively obscure hero can hang with the big names above shows that Guillermo del Toro, Ron Perlman and crew have given us two films that were anything but hell to sit through.
9. Blade (Power Ranking: 9,100) – What are the odds of ever seeing Wesley Snipes again as Blade? Slightly better than the odds of our Power Rankings ever being invaded by Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. But hey, we’ll always have those old DVDs — and Stephen Dorff.
10. [movie id=”225972″]Daredevil[/movie] (Power Ranking: 1,980) – Ben Affleck promised us recently that he’ll never play a superhero again, and said that “Daredevil” was “not much fun.” Although it got $45 million from the fanboys on opening weekend, we’d have to think that most of those people agree.
Want to know how we came up with this heroic hierarchy? Here’s what went into MTV’s Superhero Power Rankings!
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year’s ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It’s up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on May 31 at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
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