Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Movie industry numbers

Several times a year I get reference questions about box office statistics so I thought I’d share a website that I’ve just discovered called The Numbers. It’s at your fingertips more readily than the classic annuals: International Motion Picture Almanac (here in the ASC Library) or Art Murphy's Box Office Register, 1982-1995, also at the ASC Library though no longer published, and more cut-to-the-chase than the movie industry paper of record Variety, or Variety.com (be sure to access it from the Penn library webpage for full subscriber access). The Numbers, subtitled: Box Office Data, Movie Stars, Idle Speculation, provides daily and weekend charts including archives of these that go back to 1980. There are all kinds of lists: all-time top 20 United States and worldwide grossing titles, biggest weekends, biggest days, widest opening weekends, highest grossing movies never to reach number one, biggest money losers, on and on. It even groups movies by over 100 genres so you can see financial figures for movies about animals gone bad, the beauty industry, courtroom dramas, funeral reunions, gay/lesbian themes, the Mafia, twins, etc. This from the site:
The Numbers was officially launched on October 17th, 1997
as a free resource for industry professionals and fans to track
business information on movies. Since its humble early beginnings,
with just 300 tracked movies, the site has grown to become the
largest freely available database of movie industry information
on the web. Nearly 10,000 movies and about 500,000 separate
pieces of information are now stored in the database, and The
Numbers continues its commitment to making this data available
to the widest possible audience.

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