ADJUSTING FOR TICKET PRICE INFLATION



YearAvg. Price
2014 Est.$8.15
2013 $8.13
2012 $7.96
2011 $7.93
2010 $7.89
2009 $7.50
2008 $7.18
2007 $6.88
2006 $6.55
2005 $6.41
2004 $6.21
2003 $6.03
2002 $5.81
2001 $5.66
2000 $5.39
1999 $5.08
1998 $4.69
1997 $4.59
1996 $4.42
1995 $4.35
1994 $4.18
1993 $4.14
1992 $4.15
1991 $4.21
1990 $4.23
1989 $3.97
1988 $4.11
1987 $3.91
1986 $3.71
1985 $3.55
1984 $3.36
1983 $3.15
1982 $2.94
1981 $2.78
1980 $2.69
1979 $2.51
1978 $2.34
1977 $2.23
1976 $2.13
1975 $2.05
1974 $1.87
1973 $1.77
1972 $1.70
1971 $1.65
1970 $1.55
1969 $1.42
1968 $1.31
1967 $1.20
1966 $1.09
1965 $1.01
1964 $0.93
1963 $0.85
1962 $0.70
1961 $0.69
1959 $0.51
1956 $0.50
1954 $0.45
1953 $0.60
1951 $0.53
1949 $0.46
1948 $0.40
1945 $0.35
1944 $0.32
1943 $0.29
1942 $0.27
1941 $0.25
1940 $0.24
1939 $0.23
1936 $0.25
1935 $0.24
1934 $0.23
1929 $0.35
1924 $0.25
1910 $0.07
Source: MPAA (current year est. by BOM)


INTRODUCTION
Users can adjust most of the charts on the site into estimated number of tickets sold or for ticket price inflation. This is a helpful tool for converting box office earnings into a standard unit of measurement to help you better judge a movie's popularity and compare it to other movies released years or decades apart. You will find this feature most insightful on charts in the all-time, genre, franchise and people sections.

HOW TO USE THIS FEATURE
If a chart can be adjusted for ticket price inflation, there will be a dropdown box in the upper right-hand corner of the screen labeled "Adjuster." Its default selection is "Actuals," which means the current data you see on the screen shows actual box office receipts (i.e., unadjusted dollars).

When you click on the drop-down menu there are several options. The first is "Est. Tickets" which, if selected, will translate the figures on the page into estimated ticket sales. All other options in the dropdown box list specific years (1920s-Present Day) to translate that chart into a given year's dollars.. For example, if you looked at this weekend's box office chart and wanted to see what it might have looked like in 1975, simply select 1975 and the page will automatically refresh with the adjusted figures.

HOW WE ADJUST FOR INFLATION / EST. TICKETS
In most cases you can calculate the estimated number of tickets sold for a given movie by taking its box office gross and dividing it by the average ticket price at the time it was released. To adjust it for inflation (or see what it might have made in the past), you then multiply the estimated number of tickets sold by the average ticket price of the year you are converting to.

In some cases we are able to obtain the actual number of tickets sold and we use that figure to base adjustments off of (apart from its reported gross). Usually this is the case with older movies, especially those released in the 30s and 40s (like Gone with the Wind).

Some movies have been released several times over the decades, and we do account for this. For example, Snow White was released in 1937, but half of its lifetime gross is from re-releases in the 80s and 90s, so each of these releases is adjusted according to the year it earned its money.

Also, December releases may earn money in two separate years. To account for this we take a movie's gross from its December opening until December 31 and adjust it according to the average ticket price that year, then adjust the remaining gross in the following year according to that year's ticket price.

Still, many movies from the 80s to mid-90s may not have as extensive weekend box office data and many movies prior to 1980 may not have weekend data at all, so the full timeframe for when that movie made its money may not be available. In such cases (and where actual number of tickets sold is not available), we can only adjust based on its total earnings and the average ticket price for the year it was released. Still, this should be a good general guideline to gauge a movie's popularity and compare it to other movies released in different years or decades.

Finally, we are not adjusting budgeting or marketing costs at this time, so please note that if and when you see these figures they are not adjusted for inflation.

ACCURACY OF FIGURES
Adjusting for ticket price inflation is not an exact science and should be used to give you a general idea of what a movie might have made if released in a different year, assuming it sold the same number of tickets.

Since these figures are based on average ticket prices they cannot take into effect other factors that may affect a movie's overall popularity and success. Such factors include but are not limited to: increases or decreases in the population, the total number of movies in the marketplace at a given time, economic conditions that may help or hurt the entertainment industry as a whole (e.g., war), the relative price of a movie ticket to other commodities in a given year, competition with other related medium such as the invention and advancements of Television, VHS, DVD, the Internet, etc…

Still, this method best compares "apples to apples" when examining the history of box office earnings.