Extra Extra "New Moon earns One Billion Trillion US$ opening night!!!"

Now that the new Twilight movie New Moon has broken all opening day/weekend/week income records, will we ever see a time in this country (US) where we keep track of the actual amount of tickets sold, not just the amount of money the movie brought in with most tickets costing up to $15 in most markets and a mysterious vanishing matinee ticket price ??? (not to sound like that pessimistic hypocrite Michael Moore)

I question whether these profitable movies even sold as many tickets as Gone With The Wind.

Are there any websites out there that will tell me how many tickets are sold to movies, rather than how much money the movie made?

And if so, what is the truly most popular movie ever to show on the US movie screen?

I’d start by searching the web. It took me five seconds to locate this:


That should help you understand it.

Comparing the popularity of movies from different eras has other problems besides just the increasing ticket prices. There are more movies released these days, more (and probably smaller) theaters, and the whole publicity apparatus (including the “news” stories about weekend grosses) is geared toward having a huge opening weekend. But Gone With the Wind was re-released theatrically for decades, today’s movies go to DVD in a few months.

Personally, I think the whole exercise is pretty pointless. The press likes it because they get to cover it like a horse race, with winners and losers, and an ongoing story they can run from weekend to weekend with essentially no effort. Why should I care what movie other people are lining up to see. If it is news, it should be a business story and not an entertainment one. I don’t have any money invested in movie studios, so it doesn’t really matter to me.

From 1977-1979 every time I earned a special treat or anything, and mom asked me what I wanted to do, the answer was always the same – “Go see Star Wars”.

These days, you’re lucky of a movie is in playing in the theater for two months, let along two years. You’ll never be able to accurately compare a modern movie to situations like that.

This is a case of a demographic shift:rolleyes:. This movie appeals to a class of people(post-adolescent girls) who normally spends gobs of money on clothing who have made seeing this movie a priority. Most seemed to be accompanied by older female chaperones. The boys in the audience surprisingly, did not looked to be p-whipped, but absent were the all-male duo/trios you normally see at any sci/fantasy movie. The movie ends with what every starry-eyed girls wants their forever-love to say.

US billion or UK billion?

I agree! Although I’d still like to see the money amount reported as it’s useful to compare to the budget to see how the profit stacks up, I definitely think number of tickets sold is a much more interesting and useful benchmark of success.

This surprises me quite a bit. I imagined Twilight to have a very narrow demographic. Similar to the Hannah Montana demographic but maybe running a bit older.
There seriously can’t be any male fans rushing out to see this. And I can’t picture any female over the age of 20 wanting to see this. Is the teenage female demographic that huge that it can produce these sort of numbers?

We’ll see how the second weekend goes. I predict a 70% drop, at least.

If you are feeling curious, try Googling “Twilight Mom.” As far as I can tell, Hannah Montana’s demo ends just as Twilight’s is beginning, and Twilight’s goes on far longer than seems logical.

I think the amount of money that movie takes in is just gross.

How wrong you are:

“Honey, I’m tearing up the pre-nuptial”? :smiley:

Not all of them. It broke the opening day and midnight records, but The Dark Knight still has most of the records.

The demographic for the movie is apparently a bit different from that for the book. I’m having a hard time finding current domestic sales numbers for any of the Twilight books, but the first book is apparently the biggest seller of the series and Wikipedia tells me it’s sold 17 million copies worldwide in the five years since it was published. That’s a lot of books, but the New York Times reports that the New Moon movie took in $140.7 million during its North American opening weekend. If we estimate an average of $10 per ticket that’s over 14 million tickets sold. So either some 82% of the people who’d ever bought the first Twilight book anywhere in the world rushed out to see the new movie on its opening weekend in North America, or a lot of people who’ve never read the books are going to see the movie.

As a librarian it pains me to say this, but going to the movies is a more popular activity than reading a book. Some people aren’t going to read a book if they could just watch the movie instead. There must be a fair number of girls who went to see the movie because they have a friend who likes Twilight and wanted to go, and many younger girls must have been accompanied by parents. I’m sure there are plenty of teens and 20-somethings who don’t care about the Twilight books at all but were interested in the movie because it has hot guys in it. Aside from boyfriends who were dragged along there must also be at least a few young men who bought tickets because they thought it was going to be an action movie about werewolves fighting vampires.

That said, there are a lot of teen girls in the US. The most recent census numbers I can find are from 2007 and there isn’t a specific category for teens, but the number of girls in the 10-19 age group was about 20.5 million that year. If you include young women ages 20-24 (I know there are college-aged Twilight fans), that’s about 30.6 million Americans – roughly 10% of the total US population. There must be another million or so Canadian girls in the same age group.

Someone already got to the GWTW part of the OP’s questions, but as to the other, in regards to why $ is reported in the US instead of tickets sold:

The key to this is understanding why the Studios report the figures in the first place: Publicity. That’s it. There are no prizes for them for any of these “records”; the sole purpose of reporting these numbers is to generate more interest in the film. If you keep this in mind, the reason for using dollars instead of attendance is obvious: given inflation, these records will always get broken. The important thing is to be able to claim things like “biggest opening weekend”, “largest day”, “most midnight business” or whatever. Using dollars rather than tickets sold allows them to do this.

The other factor is of course, inertia. Reporting money is what they have always done, it serves the only purpose it has for the studios, so why change?

One other problem: this type of reporting was sketchy at best prior to 1982. If you poke around Mojo for a bit looking at all the records and data there, you’ll notice there is not a lot of detail for most films prior to 1982 - most films prior to that point will just have total gross.

To be fair to the movies here, I’ve seen the first Twilight movie and IMHO it was an improvement over the book. Not that this is such a great accomplishment; the book was one of the worst things I’ve ever read, while the movie was merely not very good. I’d say anyone curious about the Twilight phenomenon is better off with the movie than the book.

Roger Ebert reviews New Moon:

I want to drink your blood?

Silly Man, don’t you know that movies NEVER make a profit? :smiley: