Wicked Cool Info-Graphic: Box Office Revenue

Here is a fantastic bit of Sunday morning chart porn, and just in time for the Oscars: The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts.


Box Office Revenue, 1986 – 2007
(inflation adjusted)Box_office_receipts_1986_2007

courtesy of NYT


A few interesting things: Search box up top; thumb tab on the bottom — it slides all the way back to 1986. Mouse over any movie, and you get the full name; click the name, and a short description pops up, including a link to the NYT overrview.  That includes cast, reader ratings, trailer and clips, and link to the full NYT review.

My only criticisms: The exact dollar amount of box office should show in the pop up; and Earth tones? No one could think of a more vibrant color set for movies? (yecch)

I’d like to see the same method of info display used for other items: stock and sector performance comes to mind, as do auto sales, Television viewership, Video game sales, Music, etc.

And who created this? Hey NYT editors, you might want to give props Nice work by Mathew Bloch, Shan Carter and Amanda Cox creating this little beastie. Its terrific . . .   


The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 – 2007
Baseline StudioSystems; Box Office Mojo
NYT, February 23, 2008

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. ambivalentmaybe commented on Feb 24

    I don’t get the vertical axes–it’s positive in both directions, but the zero line isn’t indicated. As individual movies seem to move back and forth across the center of the chart, perhaps there are two baselines, neither indicated.

  2. Bob commented on Feb 24

    As an avid fan of Tufte’s _Visual Display of Quantitative Information_ (http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_vdqi), I relish content-rich graphics such as the one you cite. Interestingly, the NYT was an early fighter in the war against chart-junk. The NYT yearly weather graphic is a wealth of info.

  3. Bob commented on Feb 24

    > And who created this? Hey NYT editors, you might want to give props to whoever created this little beastie. Its terrific . . .

    In the lower right of the expanded graphic are the names: Mathew Bloch, Shan Carter and Amanda Cox. Searching the NYT site, Amanda Cox shows up frequently as a contributing reporter. Maybe Mathew and Shan are the ‘behind the scenes’ Flash programmers.


    BR: Good eye — I did not see that first go round. I’ll fix above.

  4. Howard Veit commented on Feb 24

    chart porn covers it. Uselessly complex, endlessly confusing, and the stuff below and above…what? This clutter is cropping up on almost all websites at the same time. WSJ and especially Investors Business Daily seems to be the only outfits putting this “technology” to good use.

  5. Joe commented on Feb 24

    It would be kind of cool if you could view it by Net profit as well.

  6. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Feb 24

    Different Subject: How pray tell does a group of banks who are in deep-doo-doo themselves come to the rescue of the bond insurers? Banks seem to be outside the purview of balance sheet restraint.

  7. Greg0658 commented on Feb 24

    that was a cool interactive chart

    tedious tho – like to see a sliderule like line that scans across by mouse or arrow keys that creates a list for that line space

    the $0 threshold I think is abit incorrect

    also would like to see a vertical graph for (I take it) total dollars spent in that time frame – easy to see summer and winter holidays are blockbuster time periods

    and would like to see the whole chart in one picture – down scalable

    cool idea – good job to the programers

  8. David Graves commented on Feb 24

    I am going to disagree sharply with H. Veit–and I don’t he realizes that for BR, describing something as “porn”, as in “chart porn”, is praise, not opprobrium. The creators of this info-graphic have made it possible for the viewer to see at a glance, pictures that opened big but had no legs after the opening weekend, or ones that opened on a few screens and established good word of mouth, the bunching of summer blockbusterish titles, the rush at the end of each year, etc. As Bob said, praiseworthy by the tough Tuftean standard. And yeah, the axis is positive in both directions–get over it. Did somebody ever pay you to go to a movie?

  9. Jason Kottke commented on Feb 25

    An amazingly dense infographic of box office revenues for all movies since 1986. It’s a little confusing at first because the vertical scale is basically irrelevant, but once you get the hang of things, it’s fun to just scroll through the years. Interesting stuff to look out for:

    1. The gross receipts have obviously gone up in the past 11 years.

    2. The summers get much more blockbustery.

    3. As time goes on, movies open bigger but don’t last nearly as long in the theater as they used to. There are also more movies to choose from in 2007 than in 1986.

    4. For some exceptions to the normal pattern, check out My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Juno, Dances With Wolves, Platoon, and Million Dollar Baby.

  10. Job Wallis commented on Feb 25

    Nice graphic.
    1. Is the vertical axis takings per day/week?
    2. Assuming that 0 is the middle of the graph why do some movies move across what looks like the middle.
    Great work to the flash scripters.

  11. Businomics Blog commented on Feb 25

    Beautiful Chart

    I thought I had seen it all, but here’s a beautiful chart from the New York Times (hat tip to The Big Picture). Do not look at this; go to the Times story, because the chart has good mouse-overs there.

  12. Greg0658 commented on Feb 26

    I still think about this graphic representation concept in my free space.

    I wonder how the concept of the cost of producing the movie could be infused? Showing how the Hollywood venture capitalist did in that time space.

    Maybe hit the F1 key to step back to the 2nd layer?

    Now it gets complicated, the next step, how Hollywood partied on the VC and movie go’er money. Call that the F12 key?

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