Reel Inequality

Charting the Vanishing Middle Class of Movies in a Post-COVID World

How Inequality is Measured

Interact with the slider below to see how the Gini coefficient is calculated
Lorenz Curve
Cumulative box-office revenue plotted against ranked films, from lowest to highest earners.
What is the Gini Coefficient?
The Lorenz Curve plots the cumulative box-office earnings of the top 100 movies.
A straight diagonal line represents an ideal, equal distribution. The area between this ideal line and the actual curve (often bowing away) is filled in red to highlight the disparity.
To calculate the Gini coefficient, this red area is divided by the total area under the diagonal line. The resulting Gini coefficient ranges from 0 to 1: a coefficient of 0 would mean no red area and perfect equality in earnings, while a coefficient of 1 would indicate that one movie hauled in all the earnings, making the red area as large as possible.
See the Gini Coefficient in Action
Drag the slider to see how the area in red changes as the Gini coefficient increases.
Gini: 0.50

2006: Cinematic Equality

2006 Marked the Lowest Box Office Inequality Since 1980 with a Gini Coefficient of 0.35
Lorenz Curve
Cumulative box-office revenue plotted against ranked films, from lowest to highest earners.
RankMovie$ Gross% Total
1Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest$423m5.4%
2Night at the Museum$251m3.2%
4X-Men: The Last Stand$234m3%
5The Da Vinci Code$218m2.8%
6Superman Returns$200m2.5%
7Happy Feet$198m2.5%
8Ice Age: The Meltdown$195m2.5%
9Casino Royale$167m2.1%
10The Pursuit of Happyness$164m2.1%
11Over the Hedge$155m2%
12Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby$148m1.9%
14Mission: Impossible III$134m1.7%
15The Departed$132m1.7%
17The Devil Wears Prada$125m1.6%
18The Break-Up$119m1.5%
20Scary Movie 4$91m1.2%
21Failure to Launch$89m1.1%
22Inside Man$89m1.1%
23Open Season$85m1.1%
24The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause$85m1.1%
25Charlotte's Web$83m1.1%
26The Pink Panther$82m1%
27Eight Below$82m1%
28Saw III$80m1%
29Nacho Libre$80m1%
30You, Me and Dupree$76m1%
32Monster House$74m0.9%
33Jackass Number Two$73m0.9%
36V for Vendetta$71m0.9%
37World Trade Center$70m0.9%
38Rocky Balboa$70m0.9%
39Big Momma's House 2$70m0.9%
40Step Up$65m0.8%
41Flushed Away$65m0.8%
42Deja Vu$64m0.8%
43Miami Vice$63m0.8%
44Madea's Family Reunion$63m0.8%
45The Holiday$63m0.8%
46The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift$63m0.8%
47Underworld: Evolution$62m0.8%
48The Shaggy Dog$61m0.8%
50The Good Shepherd$60m0.8%
51Little Miss Sunshine$60m0.8%
52The Benchwarmers$60m0.8%
53Little Man$59m0.7%
54Curious George$58m0.7%
56Blood Diamond$57m0.7%
57The Queen$56m0.7%
58The Guardian$55m0.7%
59The Omen$55m0.7%
60Final Destination 3$54m0.7%
61The Prestige$53m0.7%
62The Lake House$52m0.7%
65Date Movie$49m0.6%
66When a Stranger Calls$48m0.6%
68Nanny McPhee$47m0.6%
69Silent Hill$47m0.6%
70Deep Sea$46m0.6%
71We Are Marshall$44m0.6%
72Glory Road$43m0.5%
73Lady in the Water$42m0.5%
74The Hills Have Eyes$42m0.5%
75John Tucker Must Die$41m0.5%
76Stranger Than Fiction$41m0.5%
77The Illusionist$40m0.5%
78The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning$40m0.5%
79The Grudge 2$39m0.5%
80Gridiron Gang$38m0.5%
81Last Holiday$38m0.5%
82Pan's Labyrinth$38m0.5%
83The Nativity Story$38m0.5%
84The Wild$37m0.5%
85Man of the Year$37m0.5%
8616 Blocks$37m0.5%
88The Sentinel$36m0.5%
89Children of Men$36m0.5%
90Deck the Halls$35m0.4%
91Take the Lead$35m0.4%
93Snakes on a Plane$34m0.4%
94She's the Man$34m0.4%
95Flags of Our Fathers$34m0.4%
96United 93$31m0.4%
97Employee of the Month$28m0.4%
98Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties$28m0.4%
99The Ant Bully$28m0.4%

2023: Cinematic Inequality

2023 Marks a New Normalized Box Office Inequality Trend with a Gini Coefficient of 0.61
Lorenz Curve
Cumulative box-office revenue plotted against ranked films, from lowest to highest earners.
RankMovie$ Gross% Total
2The Super Mario Bros. Movie$575m7.7%
3Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse$381m5.1%
4Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3$359m4.8%
6The Little Mermaid$298m4%
7Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania$215m2.9%
8John Wick: Chapter 4$187m2.5%
9Sound of Freedom$184m2.5%
10Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour$179m2.4%
11Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny$174m2.3%
12Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One$172m2.3%
13Transformers: Rise of the Beasts$157m2.1%
14Creed III$156m2.1%
16Fast X$146m2%
17Five Nights at Freddy's$137m1.8%
18The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes$121m1.6%
19Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem$119m1.6%
20Scream VI$108m1.5%
21The Flash$108m1.5%
23Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves$93m1.3%
24The Equalizer 3$92m1.2%
25The Nun II$86m1.2%
26Meg 2: The Trench$83m1.1%
27Insidious: The Red Door$82m1.1%
28The Marvels$81m1.1%
29Trolls Band Together$75m1%
30Blue Beetle$72m1%
31Haunted Mansion$68m0.9%
32Evil Dead Rise$67m0.9%
33Killers of the Flower Moon$67m0.9%
34The Exorcist: Believer$66m0.9%
35PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie$65m0.9%
36Cocaine Bear$64m0.9%
37Shazam! Fury of the Gods$58m0.8%
38Saw X$54m0.7%
40Jesus Revolution$52m0.7%
41No Hard Feelings$50m0.7%
42Talk to Me$48m0.7%
44Gran Turismo$44m0.6%
45The Boogeyman$43m0.6%
46A Haunting in Venice$42m0.6%
48The Creator$41m0.6%
4980 for Brady$39m0.5%
50Knock at the Cabin$35m0.5%
54My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3$28m0.4%
56Asteroid City$28m0.4%
57Magic Mike's Last Dance$26m0.4%
59Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.$20m0.3%
61The Pope's Exorcist$20m0.3%
62The Blackening$18m0.2%
63Book Club: The Next Chapter$18m0.2%
65The Blind$17m0.2%
67The Covenant$17m0.2%
70Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken$16m0.2%
72The Holdovers$15m0.2%
73Titanic25 Year Anniversary$15m0.2%
74Dumb Money$14m0.2%
75The Last Voyage of the Demeter$14m0.2%
76Joy Ride$13m0.2%
77His Only Son$12m0.2%
78About My Father$12m0.2%
80Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce$12m0.2%
81After Death$11m0.2%
82Godzilla Minus One$11m0.2%
84Past Lives$11m0.2%
85The Machine$10m0.1%
86The Nightmare Before Christmas30th Anniversary Re-Release$10m0.1%
87Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - To the Swordsmith Village$10m0.1%
88House Party$9m0.1%
90Beau Is Afraid$8m0.1%
91BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas$8m0.1%
92The Hill$8m0.1%
94Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi$7m0.1%
95Coraline (remastered)$7m0.1%
97Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre$6m0.1%
98Next Goal Wins$6m0.1%
100Love Again$6m0.1%

Inequality Over Time

Gini Coefficient
The data on the Gini coefficient for movie box office returns from 1980 to 2023 indicates a complex picture of evolving inequality. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gini coefficient generally fluctuated within a moderate range of 0.35 to 0.54, signaling a relatively stable yet gradually increasing inequality in box office earnings.
However, a sharp and pronounced uptick is evident from 2020 onwards, soaring to levels above 0.70. This escalation likely exacerbated pre-existing trends and could potentially signify a permanent structural change in the industry's box office dynamics.

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