With 27 movies and about five-plus television series (not counting ABC and Netflix) already in the can for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with plenty (and I mean plenty) more on the way, we have hundreds and hundreds of hours of screen time already devoted to the universe. It’s been one of the most remarkable feats from any studio ever, wrapping together all kinds of storylines into a mostly coherent narrative arc. But it also starts to bring up questions like who has appeared the most on-screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? When trying to pick out the top performer in this metric, one would think that Chris Evans would appear at the very top, or at least second considering how long he’s been around. That assumption would be incorrect.
Because this is the internet and all questions, great and small, will be answered at some point by someone with enough time, we now have a breakdown of on-screen time for all Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. I think most would assume that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man would take the top prize. He was basically the first character to hit the big screen in this franchise, got three solo movies, and was critical to nearly every major storyline. But Chris Evans’ Captain America would surely be runner-up, right? Wrong. Check out the breakdown by @LeoJimenez217 on Reddit
This graph is broken into seconds and, again, thank goodness for the internet for giving us such a drill down on something you never thought you needed. But here we are. Iron Man is easily the leader in the Avengers’ clubhouse with 21,525 seconds, six thousand more than the next-closest character, Peter Parker/ Spider-Man. What? This character slightly edges out Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/ Captain America. This almost doesn’t seem correct when given what we believe we know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chris Evans (mainly) appeared in seven Marvel Cinematic Universe movies while Tom Holland as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man was only in six. It could be that since Chris Evans was around longer (in terms of years) that his screen time would eclipse Peter Parker’s. But the run times on the Spider-Man movies are longer and Captain America: Civil War was more an ensemble film than it was about the main character. That all works against Evans. All three Spider-Man films were longer (sometimes considerably) than Captain America: The First Avenger.
Almost as surprising as Chris Evans not being in the top two spots for most MCU time is that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is actually in at fourth. For a dude who started off the franchise as one of the primary villains, he sure had considerable staying power. And he was definitely aided by getting a Disney+ series all to himself, something the other three guys above him can’t (and won’t be able to) say. Plus, soon enough Chris Hemsworth’s Thor will put himself in that position with Thor: Love and Thunder set to hit screens. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe only continuing to grow, this list will look very different in just a couple of years.