How Much Do Movies Make?
How movies perform in the box office tends to generate a lot media buzz and public discussion. In some cases, box office performance influences our attitude towards a movie. We often ask ourselves how can a critically acclaimed movie become such a box office flop (The Shawshank Redemption) or how can a terrible movie become such a box office success (Paul Blart: Mall Cop). Are we the ones that are crazy to think that everyone should watch Children of Men or, are we pretentious to think that Armageddon was terrible. Surely with $550 in box office revenue, the 100s of millions of people that watched Armageddon cant be wrong. While there is much heated debate on what makes a movie a work of art or what makes it crap, the economics of the situation are clear. People will vote with their wallet and companies in the movie industry (production companies, distributors, theater, etc..) are only looking out for their bottom line. As such it is in the companies’ best interests to produce, distribute and show movies that will generate the most money in the box office for the lowest cost. 1
I am aware that Oscar nominations, which are correlated to the quality of a movie, do increase box office revenue, however its effect will not be discussed in this post. ↩