On Screen: The Box Office

A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a counter-top, through a hole in a wall or window. The term box office originated in 1776 when a theater would sell private boxes (seats) to theater goers.  It was not until 1904 that the sense of total sales would come into play.

With year to year inflation, the rise of tickets amounts and the selection of viewing pleasure such as 3D, IMAX, etc help determine the cost of a ticket.  In 1910 the average ticket price  was $0.07 and in 2015 has risen to an average of $8.12 (I only wish it cost me that much).  According to Box Office MojoIn most cases you can calculate the estimated number of tickets sold for a given movie by taking its box office gross and dividing it by the average ticket price at the time it was released. To adjust it for inflation (or see what it might have made in the past), you then multiply the estimated number of tickets sold by the average ticket price of the year you are converting to.”

So in order to see what the estimated gross would be of a movie you would need to obtain the amount of ticket sales and unfortunately for many movies there is no data to help in figuring this out.  Many movies prior the 1990’s would not differentiate the difference between openings, weekends, etc. As we continue to progress through the years we find another more and more ways to celebrate or mark a box office record.  Was it released on Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Groundhog Day, Earth Day, etc.

We will never have an accurate rate of sales for all movies, but we are now living in the data era.  Every company from Google, Apple to Amazon and others are on the hunt for our data so its fitting that movie numbers are tracked on how many us us see a movie on what day. This data will help Hollywood determine what movies to make that make profit, but some times theses movies are just terrible and hurt a franchise, such as Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to name a few (Thanks Michael Bay).

Recently Jurassic World had an opening weekend record of $208,806,270.  This just edged out Marvel’s The Avengers which opened at $207,438,708 a difference of $1,367,562.

The top ten movie ticket gross has come since 2007.

Rank Title (click to view) Studio Opening* % of Total Theaters Avg. Total Gross^ Date**
1 Jurassic World Uni. $208,806,270 80.8% 4,274 $48,855 $258,493,605 6/12/2015
2 Marvel’s The Avengers BV $207,438,708 33.3% 4,349 $47,698 $623,357,910 5/4/2012
3 Avengers: Age of Ultron BV $191,271,109 42.9% 4,276 $44,731 $445,730,903 5/1/2015
4 Iron Man 3 BV $174,144,585 42.6% 4,253 $40,946 $409,013,994 5/3/2013
5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 WB $169,189,427 44.4% 4,375 $38,672 $381,011,219 7/15/2011
6 The Dark Knight Rises WB $160,887,295 35.9% 4,404 $36,532 $448,139,099 7/20/2012
7 The Dark Knight WB $158,411,483 29.7% 4,366 $36,283 $533,345,358 7/18/2008
8 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire LGF $158,074,286 37.2% 4,163 $37,971 $424,668,047 11/22/2013
9 The Hunger Games LGF $152,535,747 37.4% 4,137 $36,871 $408,010,692 3/23/2012
10 Spider-Man 3 Sony $151,116,516 44.9% 4,252 $35,540 $336,530,303 5/4/2007

Chart Courtesy of Box Office Mojo

With Jurassic World passing Avengers Marvel had some fun in congratulating this accomplishment. CHo0m8yWcAERieO.jpg-large created by Andy Park and tweeted out by Kevin Feige via his twitter account.

This is great because it takes us back to a time when filmmakers would publicly celebrate other filmmakers accomplishments in box office records.


Will we see more of these? I really hope so.  With the continuation of growth at the theaters for blockbusters the dollar amount and views will go up and up  and with Star Wars: The Force Awakens we will see another movie top the charts and possibly destroy the competition and hopefully we will find another poster or letter of congratulations.


#Movies #BoxOffice #StarWars #LucasFilm #ET #JurassicWorld #Marvel #WB #Universal

1 Comment

Leave a Reply