Which movie will have the highest gross at the end of its run?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Darth23, Oct 31, 2001.

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Which movie will have the highest gross at the end of its run?

Poll closed Dec 20, 2001.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 22 vote(s) 13.2%
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 45 vote(s) 26.9%
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 100 vote(s) 59.9%
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  1. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    Finally some Star Wars hype in the news:

    From The Force.net:

    The Main Movie of 2002
    Thu, Apr 04, 02 09:21:44 AM EST


    Lord_Fett says that Star Wars will lead the pack in 2002:

    "I´m seeing a lot of cinema magazines saying that AOTC it will not be the main movie in 2002. Well,in Portugal every cinema magazine is saying that AOTC WILL be the main movie in 2002 and it will not be affected by football matches or anything else. Critics say that it may surpass LOTR: The Two Towers and the new Harry Potter!"



    Maybe we'll finally get out billion dollar Star Wars movie.



  2. Tukafo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    While I agree that a drop rate is an interesting indicator I doesn't tell the full story.
    The stronger the opening weekend the more likely a film is to have a big drop in the second week.
    A film on the other hand that has little hype initially is therfore more likely to have a consistent weekend figure development, but does that really mean it's more popular?
    So, in other words, a film that starts off with 90 Mio and then drops to 45 Mio is supposed to be less popular than a film that starts with 40 Mio and then drops to 35 Mio?
    Take FOTR. There was some hype before the film came out but not as much as for many other films. The result was a solid opning weekend of around 45 Mio as far as I remember. The film then had great word of mouth so it only dropped to 38 Mio the week after and managed to hold on to the number 1 spot for 4 weeks.
    BUT - when TTT will be released in Dec. it will be different. Lots of people will be dying to see that film initially so it will almost certainly have a much stronger opening weekend than FOTR even though the final box office might be lower. Just like Lost World had a much higher opening than JP, ESB had a higher opening than ANH or Scream 2 was higher initially than Scream 1. In the end however all those sequels made far less money than the original.
  3. Padme Bra Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 1999
    star 6
    Competition's a huge factor too. There's a finite amount of money that will be spent at the theater on any given week. LOTR and other holliday films have very little competition. There simply isn't anything else to see. Summer on the other hand, has gotten ridiculous in the last 5 or 6 years. Every week there are like 3 big movies. That cuts into profits, no matter how good the word of mouth is.
  4. Raincitygirl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2002
    star 1
    In terms of the money question, wouldn't a better way of determining a movie's popularity be to say how many tickets were sold. Bums in seats, not how much people paid to park their bums in those seats. I've read several times that gross revenues are rising not because more people are going to see these movies, but because of inflation. Plus, ticket prices are rising faster than inflation because the chains are building all kinds of fancy new gigaplexes. I'd be curious to see how ticket sales match up for these much-touted blockbusters. Also, given the phenomenal amount of advertising that's poured into some movies, I wonder what the studio's *net* profit becomes, after they subtract the cost of actually making the movie and the cost of promoting it.
  5. Tukafo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    also keep in mind that when you talk about worldwide gross you have to consider that many currencies have lost in value against the Dollar in recent years so that 300 Million Dollar made in Europe now mean more tickets sold than 400 Mio a few years ago
  6. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    FOTR had a good amount of hype. Cover stories in Entertainment Weekly, People (I believe) and Tv guide, half hour or hour long specials on Fox, Discovery channel, Sci-Fi channel, WAM (the Starz Kids/teen network), and probably a few others, Liv Tyler, Elijah Wood and other on the talk shows, Plus years of buzz in the sci-fi, fantasy community, as well as an extensive, multi-generational built in fan-base for the books.

    Looking at FOTR's opening can't really tell you much, compared with a Spring or Summer movie because it was the Christmas holidays. It basically made like 10 million a day for 14 days. It opened on a Wednesday and Christmas Eve and Christmas and therfore New Years also - were in the middle of the week. Instead of say, making, say, 70 million for the first Wed - Sunday period, about 20 million for during the week, and another 50 million for the next week or so, it made 140 million pretty evenly over a 10 day period.

    My numbers mught be a little off - I think it averaged 10 million a day for like 17 or 18 days from Dec 19 to New Years. It never had a single $20 million day but it had a lot of $10+ ones. But its week to week drops were very good after the holiday perod was over - 20's and 30's, and it had a bump when the Oscar nominations came out and has held pretty well for weeks now.

    Harry Potter had 3 $30 million days in its first three days, had some bigger drops, and hasd a bump when the winter holidays kicked in. Yet, both movies are going to finish with the about same amount of money. I think the main difference in their early performace is the calendar, not the movies themselves or the audience reactions to them.

    After 8 weeks FOTR made about 88% of it's total gross, and HP made about 94% of its total. TPM had taken in 89% of its total by week 8. Sixth Sense - 76% Toy Story 2 - 92%, Toy Story 1 88%(approx),.

    By week 8 Titanic had made 56% of its total. But then it was Titanic. :p As far as I can tell NO other big movie recently has ever performed as well over such a long period of time.


    I think that FOTR might have lost a little bit of money by opening right before Christmas, but overall I think it will finish at around the same level it would have had it opened in August or April.
  7. BenQ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2001
    star 2
    "In terms of the money question, wouldn't a better way of determining a movie's popularity be to say how many tickets were sold. Bums in seats"



    I remember reading that Gone With The Wind is the record holder in terms of putting people in the seats. (and how long ago was that?)
  8. Raincitygirl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2002
    star 1
    Interesting. I didn't know that. Of course, back in 1939 there were a lot fewer entertainment options. You could go to the movies or you could listen to the radio. There was no TV, VCR's, video games, CD's, internet. Modern movies have a lot more competition from alternate entertainment activities.
  9. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    One of the reasons the original film in a series usually has better legs than the sequels is because the original has to rely on word of mouth as it isn't a pre-sold concept. That means a lot of people don't go to see it until they hear everyone else saying his great it is. But with sequels, everyone who liked the first one goes to see the sequel pretty much straight away, which leaves less of the audience for later weeks, hence the bigger drops.
    Having said that, TPM had a huge opening AND low weekly declines. There are very few blockbusters that have managed that in recent years. Jurassic Park is one of the only other ones I can recall. So TPM was obviously a much-loved film.
  10. Marek the Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 1999
    star 4
    DarthHomer !!! well said, TPM had a superb legs compare to the other blockbuster in last 5 years !!!
  11. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    Interesting story on showbizdata:


    "Universal executives have expressed disappointment with the performance of the re-release of Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, which has grossed just $25 million since its opening three weeks ago. Today's Wall Street Journal, which described the re-release as "a bust," quoted Universal Pictures Vice Chairman Marc Shmuger as saying: "We came up short. ... It happens on occasion in this business." Marvin Levy, a publicist who has worked with Spielberg since 1982 (when E.T. was released) and who now is a top marketing exec with DreamWorks, told the Journal: "Maybe kids today are more in tune with pure razzle-dazzle. Maybe bicycles flying through the air are not as novel anymore." Although the newspaper reported that some analysts have now downgraded the film's potential on the home video market, Shmuger disagreed, saying: "We still think we're going to do great business with the DVD."


    It just shows how being the most successful film of all time doesn't always guarantee popularity with later generations of moviegoers.
    E.T. should still pass TPM's total, though :(
  12. Marek the Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 1999
    star 4
  13. Marek the Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 1999
    star 4
    interesting article in holonet section http://www.theforce.net/holonet/index.html#15296 about Measuring Box Office in People :)

    -------------------------------------------
    Measuring Box Office in People
    Fri, Apr 05, 02 09:27:17 AM EST

    David sends us this interesting article that appeared in the Sun newspaper in Great Britain today has an article regarding which films have had most people see them, in terms of "bums on seats" at the cinema.
    Their reasoning was that box office gross is not accurate (inflation), so they have 'calculated' the number of people roughly to have seen a film at the cinema. the top ten is as follows:
    1. Gone with the wind 504.3 million people
    2. Star Wars 436.3 million
    3. Titanic 355.4 million
    4. Jaws 342 million
    5. The Jungle Book 355.3 million
    6. Snow White 329 million
    7. 101 Dalmations(cartoon) 319.9 million
    8. Grease 310.1 million
    9. Empire Strikes Back 281.4 million
    10. The sound of music 255.4 million
    .
    13. Return of the Jedi 227.8 million
    .
    22. Phantom Menace 167.9 million


    The way they calculated these is fairly complicated, because apparently only us and uk have very accurate trackings of ticket price. they used titanic's figures to estimate how much the overseas ticket price was in relation to us/uk, and used that to work out, say the average price of a ticket in 1967. These probably aren't 100%, but are a nice estimate.

    -------------------------------------------

    HMM INTERESTING NUMBERS :) we have a new table to look at ;-) I would like to see how excatly they made those numbers up :)
  14. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    But you have to calculate number of tickets sold based on some ticket price/price. In many European countries, they actually count numbers of tickets sold, in the US they only count howe much money a movie took it.

    If the studios or Exhibitor Relations do keep track of individual tickets sold, they don't release that info anywhere that I've seen.

  15. Marek the Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 1999
    star 4
    You are righ, that's why I was looking for more info how they came up with those final numbers ;-)
  16. kelgryn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 1
    The only problem with this list is that its still not really a perfect way of comparing numbers of viewers, because these days people have so many more options of seeing a film, other than the theater. Cable, vhs, dvd etc. I am sure that an equal number (probably more) saw Titanic on video as saw it in the theater, for example. This, combined with the fact that there are simply way more people in the world, assures that modern movies are viewed, one way or another, by far more people than films in the relatively distant past.

    I guess what i would really like access to is information as to what percentage of a population actually saw any given movie in the year of its release. That would be interesting.
  17. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    That's true. Back in the era of Gone With the Wind, everyone went to the cinema, since there was no equivalent competition for audiences.
  18. Ulaleros Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2001
    star 2
    yeah, but like kelgryn said, the population of the united states was less than half of what it is now. that off-sets any argument about lack of competition with other forms of entertainment.
  19. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "I guess what i would really like access to is information as to what percentage of a population actually saw any given movie in the year of its release."

    One thing I can tell you is that the most successful year for movies (in terms of what percentage of the population went to see them) is still 1946.
  20. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    E.T. is going down hard, but it's going to take TPM with it. :p


    From Yahoo:


    "With $30.5 million since it was reissued last month, "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" is close to passing "Star Wars: Episode I ? The Phantom Menace" on the all-time box-office list domestically. "E.T." took in $3.3 million over the weekend to climb to $430.3 million, just $800,000 short of "Phantom Menace," No. 3 on the all-time list behind "Titanic" ($600.8 million) and the original "Star Wars" ($461 million)."


    E.T. dropped another 46% this past weekend.
  21. DarthHomer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2000
    star 5
    It's very sad that TPM will no longer be the most successful film starring E.T.s :)
  22. Marek the Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 1999
    star 4
    from :JarJarIsBoba inanother thread

    This is what MovieWeb.com says about any worldwide statistic on movie grosses:

    1. Do you have the Top 50 All-Time WORLDWIDE Highest Grossing Movies statistics?

    No ... We don't have that information ... We have been told that exact worldwide totals are unreliable! The U.S. has a tallying system setup with all of the movie theatres & studios participating, so that they can get the exact figures for the entire country. Worldwide tallys are not reliable as there are no international reporting agencies to figure out all of the box-office receipts for all of the theatres in a given country , for all countries of the world.
  23. Marek the Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 1999
    star 4
    here is the original link to Measuring Box Office in People :

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,5-2002151621,00.html

    and it's a nice to see ALL STAR WARS MOVIES
    in TOP 25 :))

    Fotr on place 26 :) hehe, and HP on 18th

    EP4 - 2
    EP5 - 9
    EP6 - 13
    EP1 - 22

    other interesting movies :)

    Titanic - 3
    JP 1 - 15
    LionKing- 24
    Indy 3 - 31
    Indy 1 - 32
    JP 2 - 42
    Indy 2 - 69
    ToyStory2-99
  24. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    I don't buy the Sun list.

    They tried to claim that they're the first ones to have an adjusted for inflation list. They also went to great lenghts to explain that they went through 'complex' calculations, but they didn't even remotely explain what those calculations were, or where they got their numbers that they used to make those calculations.


    Two other Inflation Adjusted lists:


    The Movie Times List

    ANH - #2 - $865.91 million adjusted gross
    ESB - #14 - $468.62
    ROTJ - #15 - $449.66
    TPM - #16 - $442.15


    Box OFfice Mojo's List

    ANH - #2 - $1.025 million adjusted gross
    ESB - #14 - $555.27
    ROTJ - #15 - $533.26
    TPM - #20 - $471.95

    Unfortunatley neither site goes into great detail about how the grosses were calculated either. Considering the fact that the OT made so much money from a recent release, (138 million for ANH) the details would be pretty important.
  25. Tukafo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    you can't get figures of percentages of population that watch a movie in the cinema. Why? Because the box office figures contain repeat business. TPM certainly made several tens of millions (if not more) simply due to repeat business. So it's the old question again as to which film is more successful: The film that has two viewers who buy 50 tickets each or the film that has 100 viewers who buy one ticket each.
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