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CNN Light Years Guest Post: Did ‘Avengers’ really own box office records?

Over at CNN this month, I talk about the phenomenal success of Marvel’s The Avengers in its stampede over old box office records.  But how much stock should we put in these records?  Is this blockbuster really the top dog in the record books?  Here’s a sneak preview of the article:

When the Avengers assemble, the world opens its collective wallet.  In just under three weeks since its international opening, “Marvel’s The Avengers” has earned more than $1 billion worldwide.  In America, it blew through the $200 million mark over opening weekend alone, and now holds the title of best three-day opening in film history.  Or does it?

While dollar signs fuel the engine of Hollywood movie production, they are not necessarily the most objective measure of a film’s success.  Most importantly, the dollar is not a static unit of measurement like the meter; as a result of inflation, a dollar in 2008 has more purchasing power than a dollar in 2012.  If we search for a better way to measure film’s opening weekend success, is it possible to dethrone the mighty Avengers?  Let’s try to find out.

To see the surprising answers, click here to read the article!

  • Pacomartin

    I suppose that “Gone with the Wind” selling roughly 200 million tickets when the population of the country was about 132 million is a record that no movie can ever hope to match. Likewise “Sound of Music” selling over 142 million tickets on it’s first release when the population was less than 200 million is a post WWII record. By contrast, “The Avengers” is very unlikely to sell tickets in excess of 25%-30% of the country’s population.
    The movie is remarkable that, with the possible exception of the first Iron Man, none of the prequel movies came close to these kind of ticket sales. It’s a testament to the power of familiarity. The movies resemble the comic sales of 50 years ago where the characters became so ingrained in the fantasy lives of young boys that they eagerly awaited each new team-up.