Avatar #1: Oops, Let's Move the Goal Posts

No sooner had Avatar done the unthinkable — overtaking and surpassing Titanic as the #1 Box Office Hit of all time in terms of global box office gross — than the goal posts started getting moved, with most of the articles now starting to footnote the accomplishment with calculations of number of admissions rather than total box office gross as the new way of measuring the all time champ. Look — I’m not an Avatar cheerleader. Since the first day I predicted it would overtake Titanic, I’ve been basically crunching the numbers and the trends–not speaking from an emotional place — when attempting to analyze the accomplishment and put it in perspective. But now, here we are, on “Avatar Beats Titanic” day, and suddenly the unassailable Box Office Gross of Titanic has been assailed, and now suddenly that’s not relevant — what is relevant now, suddenly, is the number of tickets sold.

Okay, I get it. Sort of. It seems that a lot of people have a lot emotionally invested in Titanic’s unassailable achievement and so they must protect it. But my thought is — where were all the Gone With The Wind defenders when Titanic took the crown? Where were all the Titanicophiles and did they try to quantify Titanic’s achievement by indexing it against inflation at the time? I think not.

Anyway, it’s all in good fun because the cool thing is that Titanic and Avatar are like Payton Manning and Eli Manning–children of the same father. Let’s celebrate the Father’s accomplishment and stop squabbling about the sibling rivalry. All hail James Cameron, at least in economic terms — he’s the king of the box office universe.

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