After 11 years of being the most popular Halloween costume in the US, princesses have been knocked off the top spot by none other than superheroes — so expect to see plenty more Batmen, Wonder Women, Supergirls and Captain Americas this year.
In 2016, people in the U.S. will reportedly spend more than $3 billion on costumes for themselves, and 3 million children are set to dress as superheroes, according to a survey of the most popular Halloween costumes conducted by the National Retail Foundation. You can see the ranking of costume popularity, as indicated in the survey, below:
Animal (Cat, Dog, Lion, Monkey, etc.)
Star Wars Character
Tie: Witch AND DC Superhero (excl. Batman)
Frozen Character (Anna, Elsa, Olaf)
Marvel Superhero (excl. Spiderman)
Batman Character (Batman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, etc.)
Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
Tie: Marvel Superhero (Deadpool, Spiderman, etc.) AND DC Superhero (Wonder Woman, Superman, excl. Batman)
Video Game Character
Slasher Movie Villain (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, etc.)
Star Wars Character
It might be that Deadpool’s Halloween recruitment drive last year was particularly successful, but Time Warner Inc and Disney (who own the entertainment properties for DC, and Marvel and Star Wars, respectively) appear to be competing heavily this year for the big Halloween costume money. In recent years, Disney has been the big Halloween earner, thanks to sales from its “Frozen” merchandise. But with DC characters claiming the top spots for both children and adults between the ages of 18-34, Time Warner Inc also looks to be doing well this year.
Regardless of who’s going to earn the most money from Halloween costume sales, there may be something else positive to come out of the survey: The prominence of female superheroes on the list. In October 2015, media studies scholar Dr. Christopher Bell — who specializes in the ways in which race, class and gender intersect in media — created a TED talk about how few female superhero costume options there were for his young daughter.
Around the same time, Mattel, in partnership with Warner Bros. and DC Comics, created a new line of toys and costumes called “DC Super Hero Girls.” The lucrative franchise will reportedly earn $1 billion for the corporation.
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