Looking at the Big Picture Show
Do you know what movie holds the record for most tickets sold? A lot of you might have guessed the most recent Avengers movie, because of the publicity around its huge revenues.
However, I read an interesting online article recently which disputed this. The article included a list of the top selling movies based on the estimated number of tickets sold for each movie.
Their list of the top ten movies was a surprise, though a pleasant one. The list is below:
10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Estimated ticket sales: 109 million tickets
9. The Exorcist (1973)
Estimated ticket sales: 116.5 million tickets
8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Estimated ticket sales: 124.6 million tickets
7. Jaws (1975)
Estimated ticket sales: 128 million tickets
6. The Ten Commandments (1956)
Estimated ticket sales: 131 million tickets
5. Titanic (1997)
Estimated ticket sales: 143.5 million tickets
4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Estimated ticket sales: 147.9 million tickets
3. The Sound of Music (1965)
Estimated ticket sales: 157.2 million tickets
2. Star Wars (1977)
Estimated ticket sales: 178.1 million tickets
1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Estimated ticket sales: 201 million tickets
A few things struck me about this list. First of all, Titanic (released in 1997) is the most recent movie on this list. The top ten movies based on ticket sales are all over 20 years old.
Secondly, unlike the blockbusters of today, these movies were made at a time when there was very little movie revenue from other countries. These movies made the list based almost entirely on ticket sales in the US. Today, US ticket sales are only about half of the total revenues.
Two of the movies, including the number one movie, Gone With the Wind, came out during the Great Depression, which makes this feat even more astounding. Even though the average price of a movie in the 1930s was only about 25 cents, that was still a significant amount of money – more than one hour’s pay for the average worker.
But I think what really caught my eye was that, most of these are family movies. With one or two exceptions, I think older children could watch nearly all of these movies. Some of them are also appropriate for younger children. Snow White is one of my granddaughters’ favorite movies.
That was what made this list such a pleasant surprise. It is somehow reassuring to know that, in spite of the hype and hoopla around some movies put out today, the classics still reign supreme.
Which raises the question. Which movies are you surprised are not on this list? If you made a list of your top ten favorite movies, which ones would make the list?
Stories From My Writing Journey
Sometimes, we need to hear something said again in a different way before it really sinks in. This happened to me recently. A conversation with a writing friend reminded me that I had both of Lisa Cron’s writing craft books, Wired for Story and Story Genius on my bookshelf. I had started reading the first book before we moved last year, then never finished it.
That conversation prompted me to read both books. I am so glad I did! First, because I was fascinated by her explanation of how humans are still biologically wired not just to learn through stories, but to actually crave them. I always like to learn the “how” and “why” of things, so I found this to be a captivating read.
More importantly, the associated tips for writing stronger stories truly resonated for me. The sad thing is that, if you get right down to it, she did not say anything I haven’t heard before. But something about the way she said it – the way she told her story – forced me to really listen this time.
I guess we have all had something similar happen at some point. How often have we heard something (maybe from a coworker instead of a parent or spouse) and instead of rolling our eyes because we’ve heard it before, we stop and pay attention this time?
Maybe we give more weight to words spoken by people we don’t know as well or need to hear the words phrased in a different way. Or perhaps this person is simply a better storyteller. Whatever the reason, the result is the same. Suddenly, light bulbs are going off, brightening our world in literal and figurative ways.
In my case, I am glad I listened to my friend and read Lisa Cron’s books. I am in the process of applying her techniques to my current manuscript, and am excited to see if they improve my writing as I think they will. I’ll keep you posted on my results. If you are a writer who would like to learn more about Lisa’s techniques, you can find her at http://wiredforstory.com/ .
In the meantime, if crazy old Uncle Henry starts telling you something, don’t just use the time to check messages on your phone – pay attention. He just might have something worthwhile to tell you!
Sing Me A Summer Song!
Ahhh, summer. Remember those long, lazy days when we were out of school and the days stretched before us, full of promise? Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know that every now and then, I like to include a fun trivia quiz. Here is one to celebrate the last bit of summer. All of the questions are about songs with the word "summer" in the title. Enjoy!
#1 – What word completes the title of 1985's "Summer of _____" by Bryan Adams?
I hope you enjoyed this musical summer quiz. The answers are below. I also included a link ( https://www.braingle.com/trivia/27741/summer-songs.html ) to the website where I found it, in case you want to click the buttons online.
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.