September 27, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Gabbing Geek Box Office Report: This Is Why It Matters

Yeah. This thing again.

Well, here we are again.

So, why do so many sites and resources online discuss the weekend box office?  I mean, legitimate news sources will set aside some space for this stuff.  What’s the purpose?

Damned if I know, but let’s contemplate it for a moment.

See, there’s a logical fallacy called the bandwagon fallacy.  It may have other names, but when we use this one, people can guess what it means.  Essentially, it suggests that popularity is the same thing as being right, or in this case, being good.

I say this as someone who’s seen the top two movies this weekend, and neither of them struck me as particularly good.  Heck, one was terrible.  Review for that later today.  Did you know, for example, that broadcast television still does better ratings than various cable networks?  Oh sure, we hear about stuff on HBO, for example, like Game of Thrones or whatever doing well, but most of HBO’s programming, much of it of rather high quality, doesn’t get the viewership of a lot of programming on CBS.  A little perusal of The Wrap tells me the top non-football broadcasts of the 2015-16 season were Empire and The Big Bang Theory, while shows like American Idol and Survivor filled in various other spots.  Looking over that list, I realized that there was hardly anything there I’d ever really seen or had much desire to check out.  There wasn’t a single show there from even basic cable.

So, like, I’ve seen bits of The Big Bang Theory.  You know what I didn’t think it was?  Funny.  I mean, to each their own, but I didn’t care for it.  I won’t speak of Empire (never seen it), but much of what I saw on that list left me rather cold.

Anyway, the same is true for movies.  We talk about what sold tickets here, but how often do we talk about how good those movies actually were?  Now, selling tickets has little if anything to do with how good a movie is.  Good movies sell tickets, too, and bad ones can flame out just as spectacularly.  But all we’re doing here is pretending the box office is important enough, when the only real use for these numbers is for future advertising purposes to get more butts in seats in the future.

So, here’s the weekly ad plug…I mean, box office.

  1. The Girl on the Train $24.6 million
  2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children $15 million
  3. Deepwater Horizon $11.8 million
  4. The Magnificent Seven $9.2 million
  5. Storks $8.5 million