Tuesday, May 24, 2005

How many people watched Star Wars?

Here is a staggering statistic about the popularity of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The movie made $17 million in the U.S. solely from its midnight shows on Thursday morning. Assuming the average ticket price for a new release is $8 (the overall average across all movies is $6.23 according to NATO -- the National Association of Theatre Owners), that works out to more than 2 million people.

By the end of Day 1, the movie had made $50 million, amounting to 6.3 million viewers, or close to 2.25% of the American population! And by the end of the weekend, the number is up to 19 million viewers (assuming no one was masochistic enough to see it multiple times in the meanwhile).

But here is the kicker: 19 million is still pretty puny when compared against the heydays of cinema in 1946 when -- hold your breath -- an average of 78 million people went to the movies each week. (Source: Slate)


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