As Avatar‘s receipts continue to grow, so grows the inevitable backlash. Star Wars fans are crying foul over Avatar‘s claim to being the top-grossing film of all time. When adjusted for inflation, Avatar‘s total pales in comparison with those of Star Wars: Episode IV, not to mention films such as E.T., Jaws, and Gone With the Wind. This is the only way to get an accurate picture, right?
Well, not quite. First, these other movies have had multiple releases over the years. Those re-releases are counted in their overall totals. Avatar is in its initial release. But even if you throw out this argument, the biggest problem I have with rankings is that only U.S. totals are cited. In my opinion, there can only be one way to count a movie’s box office total- worldwide.
Avatar’s worldwide box office take currently stands at 2.45 billion dollars. In comparison, Star Wars: Episode IV has a worldwide take of 775.4 million dollars. No amount of adjustment for inflation could possibly make up this deficit. Pretending otherwise doesn’t make much sense.
In the end, does it really matter? Take heart, Star Wars fans. It will always have a huge place in history, and continue to be incredibly influential. Avatar will most likely go down in history as the technical triumph that it is- a lush, vibrant alien world- yet will always be weighed down by its rather silly script. Unobtainium? Really?