These longtime DC Comics characters are favorites the world over. Who out there doesn't know Superman or Batman at this point? Both franchises have produced classic comic book character films that are beloved. But which franchise has proven more viable?
Commercial Success Score is based on adjusted box office numbers, calculated using domestic box office dollars, average ticket price in release year, U.S. population, and tickets purchased per capita.
Batman leads in both total adjusted box office and average adjusted box office with films The Dark Knight and Batman as the lead earners. Superman has done well financially too, with Superman and Superman II.
The best reviews in the Batman franchise go to The Dark Knight and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. The best reviews in the Superman franchise go to Superman II and Superman. Unfortuneatly for Superman, the franchise also includes Superman III and Superman IV.
The Batman franchise (15 noms, 3 wins) literally triples Superman (5 noms, 1 win) in Academy Awards. The Dark Knight (8 noms, 2 wins) being largely responsible for Batman's success in this category. You won't find any Batman or Superman films on AFI lists or in the NFR.
Superman is arguably the more iconic superhero, but Batman has fared better at your local theaters. I expect both franchises to continue producing movies, so this battle could continue for a long while.