Gone with the Wind!
Yes, frankly my dear, when it comes to box office success I don’t give a damn about dollar totals unless they’ve been adjusted for inflation of ticket prices. Otherwise, the current method is totally useless. For example, the music industry does not crown their best selling album according to the most amount of money made but by the actual number of albums sold. Wow, what a concept. The motion picture industry and all those covering it should abandon this idiotic and unfair method of tracking box office champs by the money totals and start using the total tickets sold. It’s the only true and fair way to compare movies from different eras.
Here’s a perfect example. Compare the top 10 domestic movies according to box office dollars unadjusted for inflation vs the top 10 that was adjusted for inflation. Here’s a good explanation about adjusting for inflation.
|Top 10 Movies Unadjusted for Inflation||Top 10 Movies Adjusted for Inflation|
|1. Titanic ($600,788,188)||1. Gone with the Wind ($1,485,028,000)|
|2. Avatar ($552,797,000)||2. Star Wars ($1,309,179,000)|
|3. The Dark Knight ($533,345,358)||3. The Sound of Music ($1,046,753,000)|
|4. Star Wars ($460,998,007)||4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial ($1,042,629,400)|
|5. Shrek 2 ($441,226,247)||5. The Ten Commandments ($962,850,000)|
|6. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial ($435,110,554)||6. Titanic ($943,342,300)|
|7. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace ($431,088,301)||7. Jaws ($941,379,300)|
|8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($423,315,812)||8. Doctor Zhivago ($912,395,600)|
|9. Spider-Man ($403,706,375)||9. The Exorcist ($812,679,700)|
|10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($402,111,870)||10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ($801,150,000)|
Note: Titanic sinks (pun intended) from #1 to #6 and Avatar tumbles to number 26 in the adjusted for inflation chart, the true list of box office champs. Also worth mentioning, some movies have benefited from multiple releases such as Star Wars, E.T. and Snow White.
Titanic $1,842.9 $600.8
Avatar $1,836.1 $552.8
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $1,119.1 $377.0
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest $1,066.2 $423.3
The Dark Knight $1,001.9 $533.3
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone $974.7 $317.6
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $961.0 $309.4
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $938.2 $292.0
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $934.0 $302.0
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $925.3 $341.8
Note: I haven’t been able to find a chat for international box office with adjusted for inflation totals but there’s no doubt that the list would be radically different much like the domestic list.