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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"A vampire in love with a slayer. It's rather a maudlin sort of way."
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June 02 2012

'The Avengers' is the third biggest movie of all time. The worldwide total now stands at $1,331.3M.

I can't wait to tell my friends. They don't have a rock this big.

*glad you guys can't see me flailing*
Only third. Guess it's time to go see it again.
This also makes Avengers the biggest ever movie with only a single cinematic release!

(Sure, sure, the second releases of Avatar and Titanic added relatively little of their total, but it's a nice statistic.)
My five dollars are in there!

Sadly it's no longer playing at the local theater - I had seriously considered going to see it again Thursday, but that whole not-having-a-job thing tends to ruin my fun.

It might still be playing at the theaters further away, but at least one of them was 3D. Add in drive time and gas and...too 'spensive.

ETA: I just checked - it's only playing at one of the other theaters, and only in 3D. Matinees are $7 (the one I went to was $5) and regular are $9.

Ah well. At least I got to see it once in the theater. Gonna watch it a bundle of times once the precious DVD comes out. 'cause some things ya just gotta see more than once.


Hulk frowns at Cap


Hulk grins

[ edited by ShadowQuest on 2012-06-02 20:27 ]
Love that this is happening for Joss. He will always have May 2012 whenever he negotiates anything. And he gets to make his own stuff anyway!!
These figures are so meaningless. We know almost a hundred million COPIES of Thriller have been sold. Why are we given murky numbers for box office? How many people saw this movie compared to, say, Star Wars? That's the measure of popularity, not using inflating ticket prices which will be out of date before the sequel.


[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2012-06-02 21:00 ]
It's not meaningless, Andy. Why so serious?
The story may have merit, but the numbers are meaningless. How much of it is 3D premiums? How much are movie tickets compared to ten years ago when Spidey came out? Gimme bums on seat. How many folks showed up? Then I can be educated instead of spun like I'm a Disney shareholder.

Smiley face to show not THAT serious > :)
Andy Dufresne - It sounds like you're looking for the inflation-adjusted box office numbers. Only the domestic numbers of that kind are listed at Box Office Mojo. On that list, The Avengers is currently number 37. Spider-Man is number 35 so The Avengers will be passing it soon.
Here you go Andy (as Yefa got to while I was typing). This chart shows adjusted dollars, which is the closest thing to butts in seats we have.
Also, BOM predicts Avengers has no chance of catching Avatar or Titanic. Probably true since so many movies are still due for summer that will take away screens.

Thanks both. Still, the 3D premium keeps the murkification, but certainly this is much, much better.
@Andy Dufresne - Just a bit of FYI on using Thriller (or any record) sales as a more concrete number - it's not all that reliable either. As someone who managed record stores for about 15 years back in the day when Thriller was released (and who still has the pre-computer inventory stock number burned into my brain from having to write it so often - Columbia 38112), record sales are only counted one way - that's outgoing.

Let's use Thriller as an example. Let's say CBS (now Sony) shipped 100,000 units of the album initially, pre it's actual release, including LPs, Cassettes (more expensive at the time = 3D) and even 8-tracks (also more expensive then). And let's say, for argument's sake, that some fraction of those shipments went to areas not easily excited by an urban dance pop album. Those units probably languished on the shelves until they could be returned to CBS for credit a couple of months later. Let's say as much as 10% of the initial order were returned. That makes the actual initial order only 90K. But that's not the way record company accounting works. The returns are never counted against sales figures for those purposes. So even though only 90K actually went out to stores and then on to someones home, the record says 100K.

I can't tell you how many "guaranteed hits" that debuted high on the Billboard charts (based on pre-release orders) sat in their unopened boxes in overstock storage until they could be returned. Yet none of them are ever regarded as less a hit than that chart position they shipped at - even though many only sold a fraction of their initial shipment.
So nice to read this after meeting CHRIS HEMSWORTH today! All around, it's a good day! :D

ETA: Granted, the box office take and the numbers of butts in seats are not the same thing, but even if the adjusted dollar figures mean it's the 37th best-selling movie of all time, the net result is that we are likely to see more of Joss's work on screen (big or small) than in recent years.

That's all I really care about!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2012-06-03 01:18 ]
Tell us, Nebula, what happened? I'm sure it was cool!
Andy Dufresne, the issue is that the studios never tracked any actual "bums on the seats" for any of their movies. Estimates can be gathered from sales, but with different price tags for 3D tickets, digital theatres, people with discounted or free tickets, the estimates are likely no where close to reality.

Also comparing it with say Star Wars or further back with one of the biggest Gone With the Wind is quite different, as those movies stayed in the theatres for many months even years (the original non-special edition Star Wars was re-released in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1982). As the home market movies was very limited (back in Gone With the Wind, non-existent), so that generally when people saw a movie it was in a theatre. Nothing like today when a movie is available on to rent, download and buy months later. Basically, even if we did have proper numbers of how many tickets were sold, I still think it's an apple & orange comparison.
The Avengers is my new favorite movie and I'm really glad it's making infinity dollars.
Just got back from seeing it for the 4th time. I have to say I'm not surprised. The movie is certainly good and deserves all the money it's making.
Willowy: He was SO good with the crowd! He's very charming and friendly. He made everyone who had a photo op with him float out of the booth on shiny sunbeams. (I didn't opt for any photos because it's a crime to put a short old beached whale next to a demigod!)

He was also one of those stars who kept talking to people getting his autograph, despite being told not to talk to people by his people (as happens with James Marsters - who was also there giving each of his fans their moment of friendly conversation). If he was tired from signing what had to be hundreds of autographs, he didn't show it. (In terms of my own conversation with him, I said that when I saw Star Trek the first time, it was obvious to me he was going to become a major star. He smiled, thanked me, and said in a very self-effacing way, "I hope one day that will be true."

There were three larger than normal panels at the con today. One was with Stan Lee (with about half the room filled). One was with the 5 captains from Star Trek. The third was with Chris Hemsworth. His panel was filled (near capacity for a room that fit 3,000) even more than the panel for the five captains. (These panels were all emceed by Claire Kramer, BTW.)

During his Q&A, he fielded questions about The Avengers, Thor, Thor 2, The Cabin In the Woods, Star Trek, and Joss. (There were lots of moans of disappointment when he said that Joss was not one of the people writing the next Thor movie, though people applauded when he talked about it feeling a bit like "Game of Thrones.") Nobody asked him about any of his other movies!

He talked a bit about some of the practical jokes, bloopers, and wardrobe malfunctions while filming The Avengers.

The one thing he did, though, which both endeared him to many in the crowd, but also showed that he is still green when it comes to cons, is that he entertained all the requests (there were three or four) for a hug.

He looks far more slender than he does as Thor. He did say he was going to have to build himself up again for the role. He is still absolutely stunning to look at!
Nice report Nebula1400, thanks.
Nice, Nebula! Thanks for that! cool cool. I think I'll go watch it again this week. I'm finally done with round 2 of exams so things oughta be calmer this week.

it's been far too long since I last saw it. I pre-ordered the dvd/bluray combo today but it sucks knowing it comes out on september 25th.

I hope the local theatre leaves it up for a while. if it were up to me,I'd see once a week until the dvd comes out.
This is how much in love with the Avengers I am:

I'm investing in all the 1/6 scale Avengers figures from Hot Toys, because crap they're awesome, and when I have them all, I'm going to arrange them in the circle power-shot from the movie and be eleven years old again.

They just better hurry up and put Black Widow and Hulk up for preorder, please. Like now.

You know you like a movie way too much when you can't help yourself re: the merchandising.

Oh, and blu-ray, also preordered. More Maria Hill!
pat that is so awesome! I hope you'll share the pics of your tableau when it's done. You know my appreciation for figures!!
So with Joss's royalties, he will be able to buy Nathan Firefly.
I agree that it was a great movie but not exactly my theme. I liked Cabin in the woods better and so did my mate and my GF.

That said I think it deserves that nr 3 spot , hell it deserves the nr 1 spot. Hope to see much new Joshness in theatres or on TV soon !
As it hasn't been pointed out, Box Office Mojo's inflation-adjusted list is actually based on estimated tickets sold (bums on seats) multiplied by an estimated average price (for 2012) of $7.92.

So, the list isn't exactly perfect, nor does it quantify/separate the valuation of the 3D premium, but just guesstimates the total viewings by dividing the actual reported grosses by the average ticket price of the time. (E.g. If more people are seeing it in 3D than in 2D, then the estimated tickets sold is skewing upwards significantly.)

What strikes me, though, when looking at the (ballparky adjusted) rundown of top-grossing movies— of which The Avengers now sits at 35— is that they were all directed by The Greats of Cinema. Excluding Disney's animated works, which were crafted by multiple directors-- the people behind the films listed are those whose names have passed into common currency as by-words for particular excellence.

Not that box office returns necessarily equate to quality, but it's hard not to argue that Joss's constellation has now risen into the cinematic firmament. Scanning down the list, I see: Victor Fleming, Lucas, Robert Wise, Spielberg, Cameron, DeMille, David Lean, William Wyler, George Roy Hill, Mike Nichols, Robert Zemeckis, Chris Nolan. Except for a couple of outliers, nearly all have had long and storied careers.

So here's looking forward to Joss's next successes— 'cause he's sure to surprise and awe us for years to come.
Wow, that's some incredible company in which our Joss is now included.
Dear Joss.

Congratulations on making Citizen Kane.

Every movie you make will now be compared to this.

So how about some more TV? I hear it's popular with the mortals.

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