CHAPTER 23MEASURING THE COST OF LIVING521CASE STUDYMR. INDEX GOES TO HOLLYWOODWhat was the most popular movie of all time? The answer might surprise you.Movie popularity is usually gauged by box office receipts. By that measure,Titanicis the No. 1 movie of all time, followed by Star Wars, Star Wars: ThePhantom Menace,and ET.But this ranking ignores an obvious but importantfact: Prices, including the price of movie tickets, have been rising over time.When we correct box office receipts for the effects of inflation, the story is verydifferent.Table 23-2 shows the top ten movies of all time, ranked by inflation-adjusted box office receipts. The No. 1 movie is Gone with the Wind,which wasreleased in 1939 and is well ahead of Titanic.In the 1930s, before everyone hadtelevisions in their homes, about 90 million Americans went to the cinema eachweek, compared to about 25 million today. But the movies from that era rarelyshow up in popularity rankings because ticket prices were only a quarter. Scar-lett and Rhett fare a lot better once we correct for the effects of inflation.
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Consumer price index, President Hoover, box office receipts