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Star Wars at the Box Office
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:19 pm    Post subject: Star Wars at the Box Office Reply with quote

A lot of fans don't pay much attention to the business side of the Star Wars franchise and that's ok. However I for one am interested in it. Some others here are too. Sometimes some of us refer to Star Wars theatrical grosses so I thought I would put this here for convenience.

Box office gross is not an objective measure of quality because there is no such thing as an objective measure of quality. Quality is purely subjective. Only a Sith deals in absolutes (Ha ha I just love that line).

Box office gross is one objective measure of popularity, which is the number of people who see quality in a film.

Box Office Mojo - The Star Wars Franchise

The charts below are both from the page at the above URL. For some reason reporting of box office figures tends to default to "Domestic" or "North American" which means USA and Canada combined. The rest of the world is referred to as "Overseas" or "Foreign", and everywhere combined is "Worldwide". Star Wars fandom and business are international phenomena, so Worldwide shouldn't be deemphasized because money is money.

The below charts break down each release of each film so I cut off the bottoms for the images, leaving the original releases of all 10 films and the top rerelease in both perspectives (Star Wars SE). These rankings in the images will be accurate until Episode IX and other Star Wars films come out. The links should be accurate beyond that.

The first image is worldwide but does give a breakdown of domestic and overseas for each film. The second image is domestic adjusted for inflation because they didn't make a worldwide adjusted for inflation chart, but it repeats the actual domestic grosses from the first chart. The inflation calculation is based on estimated 2019 inflation.



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Here are some other links to compare Star Wars to other films. These combine the multiple releases of each film into one film total.

All Time Box Office - WORLDWIDE GROSSES
All Time Box Office - DOMESTIC GROSSES
All Time Box Office - DOMESTIC GROSSES Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation
All Time Box Office - By Category
All Time Box Office - By Record Holder (TFA is currently the top record holder by far with a whopping 32 box office records!)
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started doing the calculations for inflation, and then I scrolled down and saw you saved me a bunch of work.

This is really cool. Thanks for posting.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheshire wrote:
I started doing the calculations for inflation, and then I scrolled down and saw you saved me a bunch of work.

This is really cool. Thanks for posting.

You're welcome. If you ever want to do the calculations for inflation for the worldwide grosses, knock yourself out. They only had adjusted for domestic.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately Box Office Mojo radically changed their website, really cutting back on their info because they want you to subscribe. I have no easy way to complete the charts in the OP to include TRoS. I haven't found a suitable replacement site. There isn't much movie theater industry to report with the pandemic.

Supposedly, TESB was re-released in the theater on July 10th and it has pulled in a gross of $674,620 on 600-some screens, and it the #1 movie in the world last weekend. Even if theaters were open in my city, I wouldn't go.

I don't see how the movie theater industry will survive the pandemic when so many people are just pretending there is no pandemic, which only makes it worse. Maybe drive-ins will eventually make a comeback. I'm not really excited about that. I've seen a handful of movies in the drive-in in my life, the most memorable one being Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984 (I finally saw that film in the theater for the first time at an Indiana Jones marathon several years back.) It will be easier to smuggle in concessions, but even drive-ins make a lot of their money on concessions and a lot of people are going to bring their own food, even popcorn, because they feel it will be safer.

I'm not thrilled about watching a smaller (from my pov) screen with bugs flying around and headlights being flicked on and off, listening to the sound on my plain old car's radio with car horns accidentally being honked and engines running to run air conditioners or heaters, and sitting in my plain old carseat. The only current drive-in theater anywhere in my city is not close and in a stinky part of town (rendering plant not too far away). I'd much rather watch movies from the comfort of my own home, even if I can't watch them when they are first available.

I'm glad my son got the movie theater experience with many movies, including preview night experience for the last three Star Wars films and some superhero movies. He got to see Solo on preview night sitting beside his best friend. In my life I've seen countless movies in theaters since high school, as contrasted with the time before that when theatrical films were rare special occasions. It was fun while it lasted.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

I don't see how the movie theater industry will survive the pandemic when so many people are just pretending there is no pandemic, which only makes it worse. Maybe drive-ins will eventually make a comeback. I'm not really excited about that. I've seen a handful of movies in the drive-in in my life, the most memorable one being Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984 (I finally saw that film in the theater for the first time at an Indiana Jones marathon several years back.)


My family went to the Drive-in lots when I was a kid. I have a lot of very fond memories of it. Playing on the playground until it got dark...being in the back seat with my brother in our PJs with a blanket. Usually they were double-features; we were supposed to go to sleep after the first 'kid-friendly' movie was over. But I usually stayed quietly awake which is how I first saw ALIEN and other such movies! Smile

Then all the Drive-ins disappeared.

When I was posted for my job, we were lucky enough to have a functioning Drive-in nearby. My kids were young and I enjoyed sharing with them the Drive-in Experience. Knowing that they make a lot of their money on concessions, I was adamant about NOT sneaking anything in. I would go out of my way to take the kids to the concession stand and we would just binge on all the 'great' stuff on offer. Made it very special as my kids didn't get junk food as a regular occurrence.

BUT the movies I went to the drive-in to see were re-runs of movies I had already seen, or movies I didn't particularly care about.
For all of the reasons you mention.

If there is a movie I care about...I definitely want to see it first-run in a theater!

That drive-in I mentioned...it was torn down 2 years ago. They couldn't keep afloat. If only they had been able to hold out a little longer...
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some similar experiences growing up but probably a lot less often than you. That drive-in that I saw IJatToD and some other movies in, which was in-between where I grew up and were I live now, closed in 2001. The last time I went there was about 10 years prior, which is where a date at the beginning of a summer home from college lead to a summer relationship, but that experience had nothing to do with the movie (I have no memory of what movie it even was).

The drive-in on the other side of my city is operating at half-capacity due to social distancing standards (every other car spot being left empty). Drive-ins are going to have to radically change to remain viable, like greatly expanding in size of the car/viewing lots and the size of the screens. And I just don't see that happening enough to support the current theatrical film industry, so streaming at home, even if for a rental period long before you can buy the film, is more likely.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could see technology giving a boost to drive-in theaters. Car stereo tech has advanced quite a bit; imagine if instead of a speaker you hang from your window, it was all done by Bluetooth tied into your car's speakers. I recall near the end, my local drive-ins were using a short-range AM broadcast where you just tuned your dash unit in for the same effect, but people would park outside and watch movies for free.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I could see technology giving a boost to drive-in theaters. Car stereo tech has advanced quite a bit; imagine if instead of a speaker you hang from your window, it was all done by Bluetooth tied into your car's speakers. I recall near the end, my local drive-ins were using a short-range AM broadcast where you just tuned your dash unit in for the same effect, but people would park outside and watch movies for free.

That brings back to mind that a lot of the dialogue in IJatToD was lost on us when we watched it with the old window speaker. We thought Short Round's name was Shorty until either my friends told me or I got the TSR IJ roleplaying game and learned otherwise.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that the radio broadcasts replacing the the physical window speakers was standard before my childhood drive-in closed. My point about the audio was, movie theaters have awesome surround sound while my car only has my car's non-special factory stereo speakers. I don't have a home theater sound system but I still have a much better speaker system on my home TV than in my car. Yes, my car's speakers are better than the old drive-in mono-speaker you hang on your window, but not leaps and bounds better.

Ideally, drive-ins would be designed so that no one nearby can see for free (walls, natural hills, whatever sight obstructions for outside viewing). And the radio transmissions for audio doesn't have to be that strong to have that wide of a range. Some people have short range broadcasts of music that is synched up to their Christmas light displays, so we can just just drive and park on the street near their hose, tune the radio into the frequency on the yard sign and enjoy their free "show" for a while. We do that every year the week of Christmas. You can't pick up the station on a different street. Sure the drive-in would have to be more powerful than that but even if nearby people got a movie's audio for free, they wouldn't also get to see the movie if they had no line-of-sight to the screen, or it was too far away to make out well.
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Yora
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the worldwide grosses (which are used by wikipedia) of the 11 movies and converting to 2020 dollars, I got this ranking:

Star Wars: $3,299,126,878
Episode 7: The Force Awakens: $2,249,551,068
Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back: $1,716,892,629
Episode 1: The Phantom Menace: $1,589,308,767
Episode 8: The Last Jedi: $1,401,455,555
Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith: $1,146,279,985
Episode 6: Return of the Jedi: $1,230,351,999
Rogue One: $1,134,335,235
Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker: $1,083,133,351
Episode 2: Attack of the Clones: $936,867,787
Solo: $403,195,623

And using the powers of graph, I put these numbers in human-processible information.



Rise of Skywalker still managed to outperform Attack of the Clones. I didn't know that one did that poorly. (Though I think it's by far the worst of the Lucas movies.)
But seeing the data for the first time presented like this, I really understand why Solo "bombed".

While doing this, I did get thinking about how a simple adjustment for inflation does not reflect that because of global population growth, later movies have a much larger potential audience they could reach.
Using really dodgy methodology, I simply divided the inflation adjusted global grosses by the number of people alive in the respective years to get some estimate of the respective "market penetration" or "reach". This does not reflect how American movies became accessible to more countries, more parts of the world having movie theaters, and the spread of VHS, DVD and BlueRay. Which I think would favor the earlier movies even more.
However, most of the population growth took place in poorer countries, which might be a bias in the opposite direction. On the other hand, those same poor countries became significantly more wealthy (or at least less poor) at the same time, so I am really not sure how that all adds up or cancels out in the end.
But here you have it: Global grosses adjusted by inflation, divided by global population.



Under this perspective, Force Awakens is only the "second most popular" of the movies after The Empire Strikes Back.
With Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace tied for fourth and fifth place.
And Rise of Skywalker coming tenth even after Rogue One.

Not an academically or economically sound comparison, but I still find it interesting.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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