Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
# of tickets doesn't work. The price of a movie in the 30s through the 50s was a nickel.
Yeah, but my opinion is that nothing
really works so we ought to give that shit up.
Well, if we give that shit up, and if any measure we have to apply is apples-to-oranges, then we can't use any measure to defend a claim about what's the most successful film in history.
Certainly, biggest nominal gross to date doesn't mean most successful in history.
I don't think we should give anything up. That's just throwing in the towel. Certainly, the more measures one considers, the more complete a picture one has, although some measures obviously don't bring very much to the table. However, whether considering them is bullshit really depends on what conclusion one is trying to infer, or what claim one is trying to make.
Would Gone With the Wind make $1.6 billion domestically if it was released today?
That's actually even less meaningful than it sounds, because you'd have to imagine a world in which it had never existed at all until now, which is pretty much impossible.
However, if the domestic box office of GWTW were hypothetically invested in inflation-indexed bonds and managed appropriately, then one could have something like $1.6 billion dollars today. That actually sounds well on the way to being a meaningful statement, to me, pending actual numbers.