How rare is the $400 million dollar movie?
This question seems particularly apropos considering that Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” is on the verge of reaching this historic milestone. Through Thursday, August 12, the 3-D animated juggernaut has earned $398.6 million in domestic revenue. So let’s break down the time line: with just over $3 million this past weekend and mid-week grosses in the $500,000 range so far this week, it will most certainly reach $400 million during the weekend of August 13.
It’s astonishing to think that in the history of cinema that only 10 (yes you read it correctly, 10) films have ever crossed that milestone. It’s also notable that six of those instances occurred in the last decade.
This statistic was shocking even to me, a jaded and long-term observer of box office trends and stats. Just ten films out of the countless thousands of films released throughout the years. Of course increased ticket prices have made this milestone possible, but it’s still no less of an achievement given the level of competition that exists in the overall entertainment universe.
Here is the list of the current members of the $400 million club:
Avatar – $749.7 million
Titanic – $600.8 million
The Dark Knight – $533.3 million
Star Wars – $460.9 million
Shrek 2 – $436.7 million
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial – $434.9 million
Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace – $431.1 million
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $423.3 million
Spider-Man – $403.7 million
Transfomers: Revenge of the Fallen – $402.1 million
(Domestic gross only, includes re-releases)