Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Avatar" vs. the Federal Reserve

Avatar is not the most popular movie of all time, I must note.  Those gigantic record-breaking box office numbers that you seem to see every year are largely a product of inflation — another reminder we should abolish the Federal Reserve and privatize currency production.  But in any case: adjusted for inflation, Avatar is only just entering the top twenty highest-grossing films (in domestic box office) of all time, any day now bumping from slot #20 the film Fantasia (which happens to be uniquely empowered to retake the slot someday, given its traditional re-release every seven years).

As I’ve noted before, it’s sort of a reassuring reminder that one’s fellow movie-goers are sane when you see the real list, adjusted for inflation, of the top twenty instead of a list filled with things like the latest Transformers movie (here is the list per the site BoxOfficeMojo, anticipating Fantasia’s imminent ouster):

1     Gone with the Wind
2     Star Wars
3     The Sound of Music
4     E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
5     The Ten Commandments
6     Titanic
7     Jaws
8     Doctor Zhivago
9     The Exorcist
10     Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
11     101 Dalmatians
12     The Empire Strikes Back
13     Ben-Hur
14     Return of the Jedi
15     The Sting
16     Raiders of the Lost Ark
17     Jurassic Park
18     The Graduate
19     Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
20     Avatar

In short: four Star Wars movies, four Steven Spielberg movies, two James  Cameron, two Disney, plus the Civil War, Nazis, Israelites, Soviets, demons, Romans, con men, and recent college grads, which sounds about right.  It’ll sound even more right when Avatar rises above Phantom Menace.

Oddly enough, the list is also a reminder that decades from now Gore Vidal may end up being remembered mainly as scriptwriter on Ben-Hur.

P.S. Imagine if a big-budget Atlas Shrugged were on that list and people were talking about it half as much as they do Avatar.  Here’s hoping the TV miniseries version recently talked about at least comes to pass.


Gerard said...

The fact that there are any Star Wars films, let alone three, on the list is dumbfounding.

Does the moviegoing public have no taste whatsoever?

Todd Seavey said...

There are _four_ Star Wars movies on the list, actually — and we all agree that _one_ of them is an atrocity coasting on the love for the other three.

But if, sir, you are suggesting there are _no_ good Star Wars films, I can only say that I have stood idly by while you attacked the fine comedy of Seth MacFarlane and the hard-working illegal immigrants of this nation, but this time you have gone too far. Surely, the original 1977 Star Wars ranks beside _Casablanca_ as one of the most towering achievements of Man ever put to celluloid. Take any minute of its treasured two hours — a classic scene in every case. A memorable line. A cherished childhood memory.

Criticize the Constitution if need be — criticize free-market economics or science for offering an incomplete picture of human existence. But when you insult the original Star Wars, you, sir, urinate on legend.