Avatar: Gone with the Wind

by zunguzungu

Forgetting the past, these folks get all jazzed about how:

“In a mere 41 days, Avatar overtook Titanic to become the highest-grossing movie ever at the worldwide box office at $1.859 billion ($555 million domestic plus $1.304 billion foreign), compared to Titanic’s $1.843 billion.”

But, of course, that’s because ticket prices have gone through the roof. If you compare number of tickets sold, by contrast, Avatar comes in at a whopping #26 on the all time list:

1 “Gone With the Wind” (1939) 202,044,600
2 “Star Wars” (1977) 178,119,600
3 “The Sound of Music” (1965) 142,415,400
26 “Avatar” (2009) 76,421,000

Not that even this comparison is even remotely meaningful; census figures for the US in 1940 give a total figure of 150 million, whereas the census clock for a moment ago gives our total at 308,572,681 (not to mention how different things like foreign distribution are), so if we were to try, the comparison of percentage of total population that have seen the movie would put Avatar at somewhere closer to 1/5th of Gone With the Wind. Still it’s a nice way to put into perspective the moral imperative of NEWEST BEST that rules these kinds of media narratives. I still predict Avatar will actually be one of the least long lasting of Cameron’s movies.