Originally Posted by Chewy
Except for, y'know, that time a Thor movie, a Captain America movie and an X-Men movie were all released in the same summer. lol
X-Men didn't start off as the uber-popular film franchise it became by the time The Last Stand was released. It premiered, built its fanbase up, and became that uber-popular franchise. Just like Thor and Cap will.
Sorry for the off-topic interjection, just think it's a little silly when people try to act like Thor and Cap are nothing franchises beneath the lowly majors. They're about to see huge boosts for their sequels, and were already reasonably big for first-timers.
As for the topic of this thread, the answer is that Madame Hydra probably won't show up in any of these movies, so it's a non-issue.
If you look purely at the films' grosses, none of the X-films has done as well as Iron Man, or much better than Thor. Cap was in a uniquely bad position for a number of reasons, release date being chief among them, and still out-classed First Class. As pointed out, Thor & Cap will only see their BO takes increase after their exposure in TA. And Iron Man may well rocket into the billion dollar club very soon.
The X-Men films did not expand in popularity as much as they should have by this point. They made decent money but by the third installment they should have been making several hundred million more than they did worldwide. With so many films serving as build up, just as the Marvel films built up towards TA, one would reasonably have expected the X-franchise to have breached the billion dollar barrier by now, like TA did. I would have at least expected the franchise to equal the first Spider-Man by now, given their buzz and supposed popularity. FC was a reboot and of course hampered by that, but its worldwide totals weren't stellar, especially when compared to Thor and Cap.