Woo Hoo... Sound of Music in the top five grossing movies of all time (keeping inflation in mind)
How Scarlett O'Hara Stole Titanic's All-Time Box-Office Crown
Even before he directed the box-office record holder Titanic, James Cameron worked with the impunity and swagger of a man who knew someday he would rise to the top of his craft. Today, with a new batch of adjusted numbers culled from the Hollywood record books, he can return to that underdog position — at least until Avatar arrives this fall to restore his crown. But it has a long, long way to go to catch up with the Southern belle who surpassed him.
Bloomberg reports today that Gone With the Wind is the No. 1 domestic-grossing film of all time when adjusting for inflation, which lifts its 1939 total of $198.7 million to a mindblowing $1.46 billion in 2009 dollars. Star Wars trails it in second place ($1.28bn), followed by The Sound of Music ($1.02bn), E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial ($1.01bn) and even The Ten Freaking Commandments ($940mm). Titanic doesn’t even rank in the top five, with its adjusted $600 million gross ($921.5mm in 2009 dollars) earning it a measly sixth-place finish just ahead of Jaws. The Dark Knight slumps somewhere out of the top 25, idling pretty much where it ended last year at $533 million.
Cameron is no doubt brushing off the revised numbers this morning, arguing that you can’t adjust 11 Oscars (versus GWTW’s eight) for inflation and trash-talking director Victor Fleming’s notably downmarket visual effects. I think we can all give him that, as long as we can recalibrate Avatar’s eventual billion-dollar-plus windfall for its 30-percent 3D/IMAX premium. In any case, let’s not even think of the angry e-mail Michael Bay is probably sending Paramount right now.