‘Deathly Hallows’ Sets Box Office Record but ‘Dark Knight’ Still Sold More Tickets

by on July 17, 2011

in Entertainment

Cinema Static on Brusimm - TV and Movie News & Opinion

Box Office Mojo is sharing the data with us that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has taken the No. 1 spot at the box office on their ‘Opening Weekends’ chart with $168,550,000 opening weekend at 4,375 movie theaters.

This pushed The Dark Knight (2008) down to 2nd, Spider-Man 3 (2007) to 3rd, The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) to 4th, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) to 5th and Iron Man 2 (2010) to 6th.

Of note, Transformers 3 (Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)) is 20th.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you folks, the movie-goers, were looking forward to Harry Potter.  Just a hunch, really.

Dollars Earned vs Tickets Printed

Whenever I see the TV movie news tout box office records, there’s always the thought in my head that every year a new box office record will be set due to how much movie ticket prices cost.  I then ask myself, but how many tickets were sold?

Right now, 10 people buying tickets for a movie today will set a box office record of versus  a movie that sold 300 tickets in its day.

I look at things like how people are now paying $15 for 3D tickets versus the days when folks paid $5 or less.  Heck, Gone with the Wind sold the most tickets (estimated) of any movie ever, at 202 million seats filled, at .23 cents per ticket in 1939!  (Cripes, GwtW is ranked at 95% in modern day’s website Rotten Tomatoes!  It still has staying power!) That’s why I like to balance out $ versus the number of tickets people bought.  Obviously the bottom line to a monetary records chart is the dollar earned, but I like to see how many people spent them.  That says more to me than the bucks burned.

My reasoning is that if 10 people today paid the avg ticket price of $7.86 to see movie-A per ticket versus 11 people who saw movie-B in 2006 and paid an average ticket price of $6.55, then to me, more people went to see movie B, but obviously the financial chart win goes to movie A.  Inflation skews the chart to who is will to part with more money! (What’s really motivating me is how today those $15 3D ticket prices are pushing studio coffers.)

Looking at my above example, 10 people seeing movie-A still financially outranks 300 people seeing Gone with the Wind.  But which movie was more popular in its day?

Box Office Mojo Dependency

I dug around in Box Office Mojo‘s files and using their inflation adjusted numbers, they indicated the following average movie ticket prices per year:

2011: $7.86
2010: $7.89
2009: $7.50
2008: $7.18
2007: $6.88
2006: $6.55

Financially, here’s the order of our modern-day chart right now:

1Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) $168,550,000.00
2The Dark Knight (2008) $158,411,483.00
3Spider-Man 3 (2007) $151,116,516.00
4The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) $142,839,137.00
5Pirates..: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $135,634,554.00
6Iron Man 2 (2010) $128,122,480.00

But if I divided the box office opening weekend take by Mojo’s estimated average ticket price, the order jumbles up a bit.  To be honest the differences sort out the chart but for all intent purposes, the differences are so small between the top 4 that everyone is a winner!

Fin. RnkMovieBO TakeAvg TcktTickets Sold
2The Dark Knight (’08) $158,411,483.00 $7.18 22,062,880.64
3Spider-Man 3 (’07) $151,116,516.00 $6.88 21,964,609.88
4The Twilight Saga: New Moon (’09) $142,839,137.00 $6.55 21,807,501.83
1Deathly Hallows Part 2 (’11) $168,550,000.00 $7.86 21,444,020.36
5Pirates..: Dead Man’s Chest (’06) $135,634,554.00 $6.55 20,707,565.50
6Iron Man 2 (’10) $128,122,480.00 $7.89 16,238,590.62

I like seeing that one of my favorite comic book characters, Batman, captured the imagination of more movie-goers on its opening movie theater weekend.

[ Box Office Mojo ][BOM: Estimated Tickets]


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