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I also found it pretty interesting that they were putting up such a graphic. I think it shows a growing faith in what readers can interpret and maybe more importantly, what they're willing to accept.

In response to the whole movie industry box office numbers proclamations, I did a (non-statistical) graphic on the top 25 highest grossing films of all time, inflation-adjusted. There's actually very few super-recent movies in that list...


Jon Peltier

This interactive graphic was certainly playful. I spent fifteen minutes scrolling back and forth, to see which brown regions were not labeled with their respective movie names.

To compare movies, you could have an XY chart, where X is the date of release and Y is the total receipts. You would probably see an upper bound, which increases to track inflation.

Another interesting twist would be to take the "thickness" of the graphic, which represents the daily receipts, and plot one series per year, showing receipts vs. day of the year. This would illustrate the seasonal variation of receipts (e.g., higher summer and holiday movies) as well as the year-over-year increase in sales (again tied to inflation).

Janne Pyykkö

An interesting interactive chart indeed. I just wonder which is the reason for some movies being in the negative side of the X axis?


I was wondering the same as Janne, the decision seems to make comparisons more difficult than they might be with a straight baseline. I suspect it may be an aesthetic decision, the designers having seen the awesome lastgraph last.fm visualiser*. On the other hand this would lead to some steeper slopes which may be harder to read and also to films with decreasing receipts actually moving up the Y axis.

* http://lastgraph.aeracode.org/


which is the reason for some movies being in the negative side of the X axis?

I wondered that too, and eventually decided it was just alternating in order of release, like a herring bone. I also decided I approve, as it helps maximise the vertical extent of the graph while preserving a good aspect ratio (if one-sided, the graph would either have to be twice as long, or else the bumps would have to be unacceptably spiky).

What I now wonder is why the center line wiggles, and what the measure that determines the wiggle is. It's not to preserve symmetry of the outside edges. Is it necessary to preserve the position of the box office peaks per release, or just an arty effect?

Jay Parkhill

Looks like the NYT's been following Lee Byron.

That's a good thing, BTW. More people should make things as beautiful as Lee does.

Jay Parkhill

Doh! Just checked out the live graphic and saw Lee Byron's name in the credits.

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