When is #1 not #1? When inflation says so.

by Debt Destroyer on March 3, 2010

Seen Avatar yet?

I’m guessing a lot of you have since it has earned over $700,000,000 at the domestic box office which makes it the number one movie of all time.  It’s also nominated for 9 academy awards, if you’re into that sort of thing. Personally I think it will win quite a few (Best Picture, and all the techie ones).

But when adjusted for inflation Avatar is only the 15th highest earning movie of all time (I say “only” like it’s a bad thing or something).  According to those figures, Gone With The Wind is the number one money maker of all time.

Which makes total sense since everything was much cheaper back in the day. I remember my grandparents filling me with stories of how they were able to spend all Saturday at the movies for only a nickel.  Now we’re lucky to get out of there without spending $20 – 30 (with popcorn).

This is basically the extent of my knowledge of inflation.  :)

But this example illustrates the point well.  I went to a 3-D showing of Avatar and had to pay $13 each for Mrs DD & I to take in the show.  When my Grandpa took my Grandma to Gone with the Wind he probably only had to spend a couple bucks.  Lucky guy!

In other Gone With The Wind news—A theater in my hometown was the first theater to screen Gone with the Wind in the whole state of South Dakota. They make a pretty big deal about it.  This same theater has been restored to a playhouse which shows movies in the winter.

It’s a pretty cool theater.

So cool in fact that they host the showings of a local short film competition that I have partaken in for the past few years.  You get a weekend to make a movie with a randomly drawn genre and certain other requirements: Line of dialog, a prop, and a character.

This year the genre was Hollywood mash-up which is like “Movie A meets Movie B”.  Our team ended up with having to make a film based on the idea of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” meets “The Bourne Identity“.  The other requirements were: Line = “I swear…”  Prop = a newspaper, Character = JT, a former child star.

Below is what we came up with.  It’s no box office champ, but it was the “runner-up” in the Best Technical category:

Frankly DD, I don’t give a damn!

OK, so this post wasn’t really about inflation, I just wanted an excuse to show my film.  To make it up to you I’ll also offer up 10 Oscar picks that are sure to be wrong:

  • Best Picture – Avatar
  • Best Directer – Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Best Actor – Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • Best Actress – Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Supporting Actress – Mo’Nique (Precious)
  • Animated film – Up
  • Adapted Screenplay –  Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air)
  • Original Screenplay – Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Foreign Film – The White Ribbon

Until next time,


P.S. My favorite film of the year was “A Serious Man” by the Coen Brothers, but I don’t think it’ll win anything.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

brainy March 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

I really enjoyed the car chase!

Actually, most of the soundtrack was top-notch — in a short film kinda way. Good stuff!


Kevin March 27, 2010 at 12:55 am

You got a couple right :)

When you consider adjusted inflation, all of these crazy athlete salaries also don’t seem as crazy.


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