Five years ago, would anyone have guessed the Marvel movie machine would earn $5 billion from its six "phase 1" films? Of course not, but that's exactly what happened.
In May, "phase 2" kicked off, with Iron Man 3 earning $1.2 billion worldwide. All signs suggest that Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) next wave of Marvel movies will vastly out-earn the first.
The following slideshow looks at the four remaining films and explains how Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which makes its debut next week on ABC, could add momentum at the box office.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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