How Disney Made Millions Selling Fewer Tickets for ‘The Avengers?’

by on May 9, 2012

in Entertainment

Disney Certainly Knows How To Set “Financial” Records with 3D! And that’s the bottom line! Sure, it’s a gimmick to some, but for many, it is a great little curiosity or true additional depth to one’s movie experience. We all have our different takes on the issue of 3D movies. But one thing is for sure, 3D definitely boosts the bottom line!

'The Avengers' box office records - Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America

Disclaimer: As a fan of the Marvel franchise characters that came together to be a part of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, I could not be happier to see the movie setting all kinds of box office records. I mean heck, on Monday (5/7/12) alone, it made an additional $19M when most movies barely hit half a million during the week!

From one of the biggest (monetary) debut in movie history, to records set in different countries, to the movie accounting for the most Fandango opening weekend tickets sold.

I love the fact that this kind of movie cranked out the records, meaning superhero geeks are not alone in their fandom.

And it is a serious amount of vindication for Joss Whedon, being represented by the fans regaling in his work.

Hitting The Financial Records Book

So please understand, I’m jazzed that The Avengers has set financial numbers that will stand in the records books for all to see for quite some time.


Iron Man RealD 3D Glasses

Herein lies the trick to this financial wrangling orchestrated by Disney. (To be fair: As do ALL studios) That orchestration lies in the fact that 3D movie tickets cost 54% more than a regular movie ticket! I normally pay $6.50 a ticket but for a 3D showing, it cost me $10! (Which, mind you, I did not mind paying for, to see my guys kick Loki’s butt!)

The other part of the equation is when screenings are presented!

When I was looking at what time screenings took place, I had 8 options for 2D screenings and 16 opportunities to see the movie in 3D and/or “IMAX.”

Check it out, the day I was looking to see when I could go see the movie, these were my options…

  • 10:30am (3D)
  • 11:00am
  • 11:30am (3D)
  • 12:00 (3D)
  • 12:35 (3D/IMAX)
  • 1:05
  • 1:40 (3D)
  • 2:15
  • 2:45 (3D)
  • 3:15 (3D)
  • 3:50 (3D/IMAX)
  • 4:20
  • 4:55 (3D)
  • 5:35
  • 6:00 (3D)
  • 6:35 (3D)
  • 7:10 (3D/IMAX)
  • 7:40
  • 8:15 (3D)
  • 8:55
  • 9:20 (3D)
  • 9:55 (3D)
  • 10:30 (3D/IMAX)
  • 10:50

As you can see, there are great viewing options for all kinds of screenings. But the convenience factor, plus, what I presume to be, curiosity about 3D, helped sell the tickets.


So therein lies the trick to busting out your box office numbers! 3D Ticket prices 50% higher than normal in twice as many possible screenings! Ha! And don’t forget the IMAX tickets prices are roughly 130% more than a 2D screening.

Cinema Static - TV News, Movie News and other Entertainment OpinionAgain, very happy fan here. But pragmatically speaking, or more to the point, cutting through the static of the cinema, I’d love to see how the actual numbers, aka butts, really sat down to see the movie!

So you know that the box office record will fall someday… it’s just a matter of time… when movie ticket prices continue to climb through the years.

But something that is always a curiosity factor for me is the number tickets sold for a movie. A quick example is when Box Office Mojo shows the number of tickets sold for some movies, and the money it made.

Avatar sold 97M tickets bringing in $760M domestically.

Titanic sold 135M tickets for $658M domesticaly.

Gone with the Wind, sold 202 million tickets. (The No. 1 movie for tickets sold, per Box Office Mojo)

I love seeing that chart because even though we’re seeing more money being spent on a movie, I get to see just how many people went to the movie. I think that’s an important facet for me. Hey, bread used to cost what, 10 cents back in the day, but we don’t go nuts reporting bread sales breaking financial records.

Instead of trying to explain the ticket cost adjustments, I’ll let you take a peek yourselves… [boxofficemojo] And this is why my title, indicating fewer ticket sales, is derived from. The cost of today’s movie ticket, on average, just above $7, means fewer tickets have to be sold, versus the day when tickets averaged $4 or $5 a pop. It seems the logical extension of the finances of the movie industry.

But again, I’m happy to see The Avengers land firmly in the box office record books and from the looks of things, will be there for quite some time to come. Cripes, it’s still crawling up the ladder of categories even as we speak!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Simmons May 9, 2012 at 7:57 am

Yea… I know what you were aiming at, but you hit a soft spot with that sad excuse… sorry, didn’t mean to get off-track on that one, and yes… this was definitely a LARGE screen experience that should not be missed. (And apparently many folks aren’t!!!)

Paul forcey May 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

I was trying to illustrate more how some movies just do not translate to the small screen with the same awesomeness that you get on the big screen.

You won’t ever stop people “borrowing” the movies, now the cat is out of the bag it is not going back in..

Bruce Simmons May 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

LMAO… Ah yes, those fine, upstanding citizens, aka, content thieves, who make seriously sad excuses for stealing…

I keep trying to convince the guys at the Ferrari dealership down the street that I’m only taking ‘it’ overnight to see if I want to buy it too!

Paul forcey May 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

Hang on Bruce, I thought piracy was killing the movies?

Someone posted on twitter or somewhere that they watched a pirated copy at home, then went to the 3D version then took their wife to see the 2D version all over the weekend..

This is definitely a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen.

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