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December 2, 2010

Movies, movies, movies – The best of all time

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We’re all familiar with the blockbuster movies from our own generation, but what about all time?  I downloaded the data from Box Office Mojo to find out.  The data I’m using is inflation adjusted.

Immediately jumping out to me:

  • There was a large increase in the number of movies in the top 100 from the 1930s to the 1970s.  This isn’t very surprising given the growth of the industry as a whole.  Click on the 1970s on the bottom-right bar chart; there were some awesome movies that decade.
  • There was a big dip in the 1980s.  Did the awful music of the decade play a part?  It’s a good thing Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were pumping out movies.  They basically owned the decade.
  • Interesting in the 2000s is that most of the movies in the top 100 have lots of special effects
  • From the sparkline I see that all but five years between 1963 and 1984 are below the average gross earnings.  But, what’s most surprising to me is that this list of five includes "The Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.  I would have never guessed those would be below the average.
  • In the top 5, I still haven’t seen “Gone with the Wind”, “The Sound of Music” or “The Ten Commandments”.  I fall asleep every time I start watching them.

What do you see?

NOTE: See a similar post by Ross Perez on Tableau’s blog for the highest grossing movies since 2001.

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