What exactly does being the "Number One Movie In America!!!" mean these days and, as a story in Slate asks, who much does it cost to gain that honor?
Being the number one movie at the box office is such a transitory distinction that, aside from the justification it gives marketing departments for their budgets, it holds very liitle meaning. True, some people might be swayed to go see a movie after seeing an ad containing gallons of hyperbole, but after the second weekend the law of diminishing returns kicks into high gear.
Making box office totals even more irrelevant is that fact that no one ever says, "Yes, but the average ticket now costs $9." For a more accurate view of history check out this list of box office totals in adjusted dollars.