Jump to content
DeeCee

Gone With the Wind (1939) Box Office:20 million Tickets Sold in the First Year.

Recommended Posts

So I was thinking about the top 100 scores list in the Box Office Forum, and I remembered that this was my favorite song from the movie:

 

 

So I tried listening to it on 0.5x speed, and it sounded weird as hell

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somethings you remember clearly. I was in teenage years when I rented GWTW.

Started watching at 2pm. Finished the movie, looked at the clock and it was around 6pm.

I remember the time and my surprise over the fact that 4 hours had gone by and afternoon changed into evening just like that.

The movie was so engrossing. I had finished reading the book just a few days before watching the movie, which pulled me in deeper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/11/2017 at 0:33 PM, IronJimbo said:

films were re-released in a time before home cinema... twist it how you like though. Let's take a look at it's VHS, DVD and Blu-ray sales while you're at it.

 

It did extremely well on home video, for example first time it played on TV it broke records, that still hold today:

 

It became at that time the highest-rated television program ever presented on a single network, watched by 47.5 percent of the households sampled in America, and 65 percent of television viewers, still the record for the highest rated film to ever air on television.

 

Every movie released around Gone With the Wind had the same playing field, none came close, Titanic had many advantage versus today release for example, less piracy, streaming, much longer theatrical window, is success is obvious because no other movie in the late 90, early 2000 come even close, same for E.T., Star Wars, and Gone with the wind all in that special category (and all close in term of box office market share of their era on their first release).

Edited by Barnack
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/01/2016 at 11:41 AM, DeeCee said:

This all I could find.  I have two contradictory pages of notes.  It was sometimes hard to determine whether an article was talking about gross or rental returns.  There's also the problem of having to deal with paywalls.  

 

1st Release-December 1939:20 million admissions

Detailed in the post above.

 

2nd Release-January 1941:32 million admissions [EDIT:NYT article says 52 million total admission before the 3rd release below]

This was the first general release and ticket prices were more in line with other films.  This figure came from a contemporaneous newspaper article.

 

3rd Release-March 1942:24 million admissions

I have a figure of $7 million and calculated admissions from the average ticket price of the time.

 

4th Release-October 1947:20 million admissions

My notes on the 4th and 5th release are a bit of a mess.  Need more data.  I have a figure of $8 million.

 

5th Release-June 1954:32 million admissions

I found an article mentioning $15 million for this release.

 

6th Release-March 1961:7 million admissions

$5 million.  I wrote this "Atlanta only?"  Not sure what that means.

 

7th Release-October 1967:12.4 million admissions

$15 million.

 

8th Release-September 1974:8 million admissions

$15 million.

 

9th Release-February 1989:0.6 million admissions

$2.4 million.

 

10th Release-June 1998:1.4 million

$6.75 million.

 

Add all this up gives a total admissions of 157.4 million or a box office gross of $1,355,214 in 2016 dollars.

 

BOM has figure of $189,523,031 for all releases prior to 1989 and 1998 which they list separately.  Nobody knows where this figure comes from.

 

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=releases&id=gonewiththewind.htm

 

These are the dates people should search if they want to find more concrete data.  Maybe you subscribe to you local newspaper and they now have online versions of the paper from these years.

 

IMDB lists the various reported rentals here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160327100822/http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031381/business?ref_=tt_dt_bus
 

$14,150,000 (USA) (1939 release)

$5,560,000 (USA) (1941 re-release)
$1,520,000 (USA) (1942 re-release)
$3,514,000 (USA) (1947 re-release)
$5,271,000 (USA) (1954 re-release)
$6,700,000 (USA) (1961 re-release)

$29,221,000 (USA) (1967 re-release)

$7,279,000 (USA) (1974 re-release)
$79,375,080 (USA)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t looked back into it for a few years now. There’s lots of contradictory information. Most of my numbers came from contemporaneous newspaper articles I found online. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is about as definitive a list as I can find anywhere:

 

YEAR

RELEASE

 

 

TICKETS

1939

First Run

1

11

61.521.739

1941

Re-Issue

1

5

23.000.000

1942

Re-Issue

4

 

5.629.630

1947

Re-Issue

5

 

20.080.000

1954

Re-Issue

2

 

23.426.667

1961

Re-Issue

1

2

19.420.290

1967

Re-Issue

1

10

48.701.667

1974

Re-Issue

3

 

7.785.027

1989

Re-Issue

 

 

605.369

1998

Re-Issue

 

 

1.439.256

 

Total:

 

 

211.609.645

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/15/2017 at 10:46 AM, a2k said:

Somethings you remember clearly. I was in teenage years when I rented GWTW.

Started watching at 2pm. Finished the movie, looked at the clock and it was around 6pm.

I remember the time and my surprise over the fact that 4 hours had gone by and afternoon changed into evening just like that.

The movie was so engrossing. I had finished reading the book just a few days before watching the movie, which pulled me in deeper.

Is it that good and not outdated or you are super old.:ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as mentioned in this thread. This movie didn't sell all the tickets it did when it first came out. It gradually accumulated that total through numerous re releases. Still it's very impressive that whenever this movie re released, people flocked to see it 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Charlie Jatinder said:

Is it that good and not outdated or you are super old.:ph34r:

GWTW is a four hour soap opera, some technically impressive sequences considering it's from 1939, but still primarily a melodrama. As someone who grew up watching soap operas I don't mind that sort of thing, but it's not for everyone. The lead character Scarlett can be divisive, some people like her determination to get what she wants, others find her highly selfish. Here's a trailer, most of the ones online are from re-releases but this is less spoilery than some:

 

 

 

Also found this "teaser" I guess, it must be from before it came out, there is zero movie footage. It's interesting to see how things have changed with trailers and how they haven't, over time:

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Charlie Jatinder said:

Is it that good and not outdated or you are super old.:ph34r:

 

One of, maybe my best movie watching experience ever, saw it for the first time about 2 year's ago.

 

It aged surprisingly well, it is more radical about is feminist stance than modern movie tend to be too and the characters are way more flawed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2017 at 9:36 AM, DeeCee said:

Here we go.

 

BY WAY OF REPORT

 

THE fact that 52,000,000 persons already have paid more than $30,000,000 for the privilege of viewing "Gone With the Wind" in its first two rounds of the nation's theatres is no deterrent to either David O. Selznick, its producer, or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the contented distributors.

 

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9D02E5DA143CE33BBC4A51DFB5668389659EDE&legacy=true

 

March 17, 1942

 

"Gone With the Wind" will return to Broadway for a third time on March 31, when the David O. Selznick production will open a continuous-run popular-price engagement at the Astor Theatre. The film, which already has grossed $30,000,000, the biggest business ever to be recorded by any picture, has played to more than 52,000,000 paid admissions in more than 12,500 engagements, according to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the distributors.

 

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9402EEDF1F3BE33BBC4F52DFB5668389659EDE&legacy=true

 

 

16 hours ago, Broshnat said:

This is about as definitive a list as I can find anywhere:

 

YEAR

RELEASE

 

 

TICKETS

1939

First Run

1

11

61.521.739

1941

Re-Issue

1

5

23.000.000

1942

Re-Issue

4

 

5.629.630

1947

Re-Issue

5

 

20.080.000

1954

Re-Issue

2

 

23.426.667

1961

Re-Issue

1

2

19.420.290

1967

Re-Issue

1

10

48.701.667

1974

Re-Issue

3

 

7.785.027

1989

Re-Issue

 

 

605.369

1998

Re-Issue

 

 

1.439.256

 

Total:

 

 

211.609.645

I'm not sure where those numbers are from but they are wrong.  The first run number appears to have been calculated by using the rental or gross box office and dividing it by average ticket prices in 1939.  This would triple the attendance figure as GWTW tickets during the first run were over 3 times normal ticket prices.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/4/2016 at 5:53 PM, Biph Shmata said:

There is no movie I want to be overtaken more than GWTW  by any movie, even McG's Thundercats a Michael Bay production. It sucks nothing ever will.

I have a low tolerance for Civil War revisionism. 

Agreed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/6/2019 at 7:25 PM, DeeCee said:

 

I'm not sure where those numbers are from but they are wrong.  The first run number appears to have been calculated by using the rental or gross box office and dividing it by average ticket prices in 1939.  This would triple the attendance figure as GWTW tickets during the first run were over 3 times normal ticket prices.

That contemporaneous report of 52m admissions as of 1942 suggests the figure is closer to doubled than tripled. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@RtheEnd Do you know why domestic does not report admissions like many of the developed markets. I know UK, Australia and India also do not report. While Germany, France, Korea, Brazil, Mexico and even China reports Admissions.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the high ticket sales, I assume that at some point Gone With The Wind topped the All-time Worldwide chart. If so, when did it lose that position?

 

I can't think of anything before The Exorcist that might have grossed more worldwide except for maybe some Disney movies racking up high totals across their re-releases (like GWTW). Was GWTW the #1 movie for decades?!? I remember that even as late as the 1980s the movie debuting on TV was a huge event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Clouseau said:

Given the high ticket sales, I assume that at some point Gone With The Wind topped the All-time Worldwide chart. If so, when did it lose that position?

 

If anyone have any idea how much it did worldwide to start with, would be interesting. I do not think worldwide chart were quite precise back then and a lot of movies would have played once the war was well over.

 

45 minutes ago, Clouseau said:

Was GWTW the #1 movie for decades?!?

I think it got beat unadjusted by newer release and retook number one when re-releasing but was basically number on unadjusted untile the Godfather 33 year's later.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films#Timeline_of_highest-grossing_films

Like sound of music took the lead for 5 year's during that time:

 

Established Title Record setting gross Reference(s)
1915[56] The Birth of a Nation $5,200,000R [# 86]
1940 $15,000,000R  [# 301]
1940[29] Gone with the Wind $32,000,000R [# 136]
1963 $67,000,000R  [# 302]
1966[56] The Sound of Music $114,600,000R [# 210]
1971[56] Gone with the Wind $116,000,000R  [# 303]
1972[56] The Godfather $127,600,000–142,000,000R [# 236][# 304]
1976[79][80] Jaws $193,700,000R [# 251]
1978[81][82] Star Wars $410,000,000/$268,500,000R [# 305][# 236]
1982 $530,000,000  [# 256]
1983[83] E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $619,000,000–664,000,000 [# 256][# 268]
1993 $701,000,000  [# 306]
1993[56] Jurassic Park $914,691,118 [# 55]
1998[84] Titanic $1,843,201,268 [# 4]
2010[85][86] Avatar $2,749,064,328 [# 1]
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Barnack said:

If anyone have any idea how much it did worldwide to start with, would be interesting. I do not think worldwide chart were quite precise back then and a lot of movies would have played once the war was well over.

 

I think it got beat unadjusted by newer release and retook number one when re-releasing but was basically number on unadjusted untile the Godfather 33 year's later.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films#Timeline_of_highest-grossing_films

Like sound of music took the lead for 5 year's during that time:

 

Established Title Record setting gross Reference(s)
1915[56] The Birth of a Nation $5,200,000R [# 86]
1940 $15,000,000R  [# 301]
1940[29] Gone with the Wind $32,000,000R [# 136]
1963 $67,000,000R  [# 302]
1966[56] The Sound of Music $114,600,000R [# 210]
1971[56] Gone with the Wind $116,000,000R  [# 303]
1972[56] The Godfather $127,600,000–142,000,000R [# 236][# 304]
1976[79][80] Jaws $193,700,000R [# 251]
1978[81][82] Star Wars $410,000,000/$268,500,000R [# 305][# 236]
1982 $530,000,000  [# 256]
1983[83] E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $619,000,000–664,000,000 [# 256][# 268]
1993 $701,000,000  [# 306]
1993[56] Jurassic Park $914,691,118 [# 55]
1998[84] Titanic $1,843,201,268 [# 4]
2010[85][86] Avatar $2,749,064,328 [# 1]

That period of inactvity across the 40s, 50s, until mid-60s, is remarkable. As is six different movies then holding the title over the following 15 years or so. Maybe we are heading into a similar period of volatility in the 2020s?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2019 at 1:16 PM, keysersoze123 said:

@RtheEnd Do you know why domestic does not report admissions like many of the developed markets. I know UK, Australia and India also do not report. While Germany, France, Korea, Brazil, Mexico and even China reports Admissions.

 

 

They pretty much all collect admissions data, its just whether the data is released publicly and at what level of detail(for example AEG admissions might get stated in article for a territory where that data normally isn't released, or maybe an offical nationwide number for the year covering all films etc ), it all various by territory. 

Domestic for example data is not collected for Flash BO  but when theatres send in BOR reports at the end of week for checking/invoicing it will include admissions often down to the various ticket types, so in the end they do know pretty much exactly how many people went.. Some rental terms  deals that theatres pay distributors, admissions can be part of the calculation along with the BO amount(This happens Domestic as well as a number of other territories) 

Edited by RtheEnd
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, RtheEnd said:

They pretty much all collect admissions data, its just whether the data is released publicly and at what level of detail(for example AEG admissions might get stated in article for a territory where that data normally isn't released, or maybe an offical nationwide number for the year covering all films etc ), it all various by territory. 

Domestic for example data is not collected for Flash BO  but when theatres send in BOR reports at the end of week for checking/invoicing it will include admissions often down to the various ticket types, so in the end they do know pretty much exactly how many people went.. Some rental terms  deals that theatres pay distributors, admissions can be part of the calculation along with the BO amount(This happens Domestic as well as a number of other territories) 

Thank you. This is awesome. I wish this post can be saved somewhere. So a studio insider or a theater insider should have actual admission numbers including for movies like Gone with the wind. So the simple question is Gone with the win movie with highest admissions or is it some other movie?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.