‘Avatar’ Is Breaking Records… Kind Of

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 9:54 am.

avatar-teaser-posterWhile Avatar is breaking records at the box office, there are a couple things that folks are forgetting — inflation.  Movie ticket sales are higher than they have ever been, especially with the 3D/IMAX premium surcharges that go with an Avatar ticket.  So, when inflation is adjusted, Avatar is currently at #32 for the all-time movie sales.  It still has a long way to go before it truly breaks records.  Alt Film Guide stated:

Things change quite a bit when inflation is added to the box-office accounting — even without considering Avatar’s 3D/IMAX premium surcharges, which can add quite a bit to the cost of a movie ticket. Box Office Mojo estimates that Avatar is now #34 on the all-time domestic box-office chart adjusted for inflation, slightly ahead of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man ($510.7m in 2002) and a few millions behind the Ryan O’Neal-Ali MacGraw vehicle Love Story ($514.4m in 1970). (If 3D/IMAX premium surcharges were included in the calculations, Avatar would be much further behind.)

it’s worth remembering that those are approximations based on average ticket prices — which can vary widely depending on where a movie made most of its money, e.g., a top-dollar New York house, in thousands of cheap small-town theaters, or at 3D/IMAX theaters that charge a premium. It’s also worth remembering that population increases, changes in movie-going demographics, and the growth of entertainment alternatives should all be taken into consideration when comparing the box-office success of movies from different eras.

According to Box Office Mojo, here are the top grossing films of all time:

1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
2. Star Wars Fox (1977)
3. The Sound of Music (1965)
4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
5. The Ten Commandments (1956)
6. Titanic (1997)
7. Jaws (1975)
8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
9. The Exorcist (1973)
10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Source 1, 2

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Sterling Photography Said on

It’s still a very wonderful movie.


BEBI Said on

i am so glad to see someone comment on this. that was the very thing i was thinking. as high as tickets are now, they play a major role in the record breaking revenues coming in. keeping things in perspective.

Scott star Said on

I so much luv d movie dat i culd watch it anytime.

judy Said on

JamesCameron talented director!
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