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Sean Howard Boggs

I’m surprised that we have fallen for it for so long. Box office numbers. Why do we believe them or even care?

Yeah, I have heard about the great and powerful “Spiderman.” Never been one for comic books, or any books for that matter but I have heard of the movie itself. Yeah, yeah, it has made millions and millions of dollars. Hundreds of millions likely. Ho-hum. La-di-friggin’-da.

These results don’t mean anything. Who really cares if anything tops “Titanic” or “Star Wars”? Does making a lot of money really mean that the movie itself is that good? Instead of reviewing movies with either a “thumbs up” or “four stars,” we should be reviewing them on what the audience really cares about.

“Titanic II.” (Trust me, you will get that joke in about 13 seconds.) Just when you thought their adventure was over, a new one has begun, featuring Tom Hanks as a nosy four-year-old girl and Kevin Bacon as the man who eventually dies of cancer. Ebert and Roeper give this film “Two thumbs-up!” While Sean says, “This is definitely a $200 million movie. With all the special effects, big names and rhythm section soundtrack, this has all the making of a movie to likely place in the top 20 movies that bring in the most money. And it is especially easy to achieve this with the $15 seats in every theater. Rated R for violence, strong language and the occasional joke about Rosie O’Donnell. In theaters today.”

This is what it has come down to – money. And what is even worse is that it’s not even fair.

“Spiderman” is rakin’ in the big dough because seats cost an arm and a goddamn leg to see it. You see, when I do simple math, it calculates out pretty easily. One seat = $7.50. A seat 50 years ago = 25 cents. It would take four people to see a movie 50 years ago for that particular movie to make one single dollar. (25 cents times four equals one dollar.) In 2002, you now pay over seven times as much as you did 50 years ago. It would take around 12 minutes (basically sitting through the crappy previews) for a movie in the year 2002 to make a buck. Times have changed, but the way a box office works, has not.

The box office states that their figures all come from adjusting to inflation, but they still don’t count the tickets. They take the total gross of sales. Basically, it’s all an illusion. It’s a imaginary figure. It’s an assumption. It’s ridiculous to not get a more accurate number. We have the ability to assume but not to be factual.

It’s not fair to compare “E.T.” to “Harry Potter.” It was so easy for “Harry Potter” to make a bazillion dollars because every single seat cost four times as much as a seat did for “E.T.” Box office numbers shouldn’t be about the money spent on tickets, it should be about the number of actual tickets purchased. Not the gross number. The actual number. Only then can we find a happy medium.