We have seen the greatest movies being produced in Hollywood, but have you ever thought what could be the exact definition of “a profitable movie”?
Well, if you think of profit as a ratio of production expense to box office total, 2007’s “Paranormal Activity” and 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” run nip and tuck. Blair Witch took an initial outlay of 35,000 dollars, which was just for the initial shoot, but once postproduction got completed, the real budget crossed as high as $200,000, including sound remix and a 35mm transfer. Artisan Entertainment’s Bill Block purchased the picture for more than $ 1 million, but it earned a whopping $249 million globally.
The cost of Paranormal in its making was only $15,000; however, they spent $150,000 on the sound, and another $50,000 were spent on reshooting the film’s ending. It is said that DreamWorks paid $350,000 for Paranormal, which was then released by Paramount with approximately $18 million going to domestic marketing only. The film made $193 million at the worldwide box office.
Paranormal, Dollar for Dollar, and Blair Witch have to be considered the best movie investments in the history of films. The question is, does this make them the most moneymaking movies in history? Not actually. A host of big earners dwarfed these horror flicks.
Three films that stand out: 1997’s Titanic, 1939’s Gone With the Wind and 2009’s Avatar.
“Gone With the Wind” cost approximately 4.25 million dollars (which converts to 78.6 million dollars as per today’s value), but what it earned is a bit difficult to even think about. The picture made approx 200 million dollars domestically. It was in the year 2014, the “Guinness Book of World Records” concluded that the movie had made an inflation-adjusted $3.44 billion, which would be $3.75 billion in today’s date, it is probably a conservative figure.
Titanic has also successfully made its name in the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release, and its cost was $210 million ($337 million today). In comparison, it earned $202 billion globally. The box office gross can be broken into two parts – one in 1997 during its initial release, which was $1.8 billion, and second was in during the re-release in the year 2012, which made $400 million. The roughly estimated total is $3.33 billion adjusted for inflations.
Was Titanic a profitable movie?
Titanic was played for a long time in the movie theaters, and it is a proven fact that the longer the film remains in the theatre, the higher is the percentage of the box office collection that goes to the distributor.
The truth is, Paramount and Fox made around 58 percent of the box office collection, which makes it around $1.9 billion in today’s dollars. That makes a theatrical earning of approximately $1.4 billion — which is still lower than “Gone With the Wind.”
So which movie is precisely the most profitable to date?
The most moneymaking film by the accounting could be —1977’s Star Wars, which successfully made an empire that has been earned so far, $10.2 billion at the box office. Star Wars’ theatrical take was 510 million dollars at the time of its release, which is $2.16 billion today. It successfully made another $265.5 million later ($453 million today), which is a total of $2.613 billion as per today’s Dollar.
Even though Gone With the Wind holds the crown in terms of absolute profit from its theatrical run alone, Star Wars is the most profitable movie in history to date.