The last of the "Star Wars" movies has done what no movie in history has ever accomplished[:] sold $50 million worth of tickets in a single day.
"Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" grossed $50,013,859 from showings at 3,661 theaters and more than 9,000 screens around the country Thursday, including special midnight shows, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
That beat the one-day record set in May 2004 by "Shrek 2," which sold $44.8 million on a single Saturday[,] its fourth day in theaters.
Link. Slate's Edward Jay Epstein argues this don't mean a thing, because, for many reasons, box office grosses are a bunch of--gross something:
Third, the "news" of the weekend grosses confuses the feat of buying an audience with that of making a profit. The cost of prints and advertising for the opening of a studio film in America in 2003 totaled, on average, $39 million. That's $18.4 million more per film than studios recovered from box-office receipts. In other words, it cost more in prints and ads—not even counting the actual costs of making the film—to lure an audience into theaters than the studio got back. So while a "boffo" box-office gross might look good in a Variety headline, it might also signify a boffo loss.
Finally, and most important, the fixation on box-office grosses obscures the much more lucrative global home-entertainment business, which is the New Hollywood's real profit center. The six major studios spoon-feed their box-office grosses to the media, but they go to great lengths to conceal the other components of their revenue streams from the public, as well as from the agents, stars, and writers who may profit from a movie.
Link. I can remember seeing Phantom Menace on opening day after taking an AP test back in high school. And I can remember camping out, just like these poor saps, to see Attack of the Clones. But now here's Revenge of the Sith, and I'm just . . . eh.