Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Millions to Billions

Today I'm going to take another slight break from my Harry Potter retrospectives and take a look at two things in which genuinely caught my eye.

Bloomberg decided to do the painstaking research and came back with a list of the top 25 highest grossing films of all-time when adjusted for ticket price inflation. While this may sound a tad stupid, and many wont even care, I think it speaks levels to a film's popularity. Ticket prices have sky rocketed in recent years, and if you put a film like Transformers up against Gone With the Wind with unadjusted results, then the cgi-behemoth wins, but when adjusting for the monetary amounts of current times it is a different story. Take a look at the top 3 adjusted, then top 3 unadjusted:

Top 3 Adjusted
1. Gone with the Wind - $1,450.7 billion
2. Star Wars - $1,278.9 billion
3. The Sound of Music - $1,022.5 billion

Top 3 Unadjusted
1. Titanic - $600.8 million
2. The Dark Knight - $533.3 million
3. Star Wars - $461.0 million

Quite a different top 3 for the most part. I find it simply astounding, and many conclusions can be drawn from these findings. Perhaps it's just plain and simple that people don't go to see movies as much as they used to, or perhaps the answer lies in other areas.

What one must remember is that 20 0f the 25 films on the adjusted list came out before the advent of the home video market. Back in those days if you wanted to see a good film again you had to return to the theater to see it, thus successful movies tended to have longer runs than they do today. As well, before home video, studios would very often re-release highly popular films every now and then to pad their box office numbers. Ever since VHS and DVDs came onto the marketplace, studios no longer do this cause they find the home video market to be far more profitable than anything else.

Even still, findings such as this make me wonder what it would be like to have experienced a phenomenon quite as big as Gone With the Wind or the original Star Wars. The numbers do not lie. I mean, the closest thing to that type of phenomana in my lifetime was back in the '90s with Titanic, and that's only number 6 on the adjusted list. I for one hope that another movie someday comes along that is so widely successful once more (and I'm sure the studios hope for it as well). I genuinely believe that the future of cinema is bright, so who knows, as for now though other things must tide us over.

On that note I'd like to end this post today by sharing a video I found on the internet the other day. It is a music video for the theme song to the newest Hayao Miyazaki film, Ponyo. The film already came out last year in Japan and was a wide critical and box office success. The film comes out here in the states in August, and I can't wait, until then enjoy the music of Mr. Joe Hisaishi, a genuine master when it comes to film composition. Keep in mind the video is very cutesy, and is a tad quirky, but that's what makes it so loveable.

Come back tomorrow as I will post part 3 of my Harry Potter retrospectives taking a look back at Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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