9 Interesting Movie Statistics to Know in 2024

Find hidden stories behind box office hits, global movie trends and more!

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movie statistics

To truly grasp their cultural impact, we need to delve into movie statistics.

Saying Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time is one thing. But did you know it earned $2.92 billlion? It paints a clearer picture, right?

Walk with me in this article and see more insights.

Mind-blowing Movie Stats

Here’s a quick overview of some of the most interesting movie stats:

  • In 2021, the Chinese movie industry out-earned Hollywood
  • In 2023, global movie earnings hit over $33 billion
  • North American cinemas had their best year in 2018, making over $11.8 billion
  • All top-10 best-paid actors of 2021 come from North America
  • Avatar (2009) is the highest-earning movie ever
  • In 2019, 3 out of 10 lead actors were people of color

General movie statistics

Here, you’ll find a list of general motion-picture statistics:

1. The estimated global box office of 2023 is over $33 billion

(Source: Gower Street Analytics)

The global box office (revenues recorded from every movie industry worldwide) reached $33 billion in 2023.

Compared to the year before, this is a remarkable growth of 29.8%. However, as substantial as it sounds, the figures are still smaller than pre-pandemic periods by 15%.

2. All the stars in the global top 10 highest-paid actors are from Hollywood, as of August 2021

(Source: Statista)

best paid actors statistics

Unsurprisingly, the highest-paid actors in 2021 come from North America.

At the top of the list is Daniel Craig, who earned $100 million.

Other actors on the list are Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Box office statistics

Even though critics have their say in the matter, the box office also dictates the success of a movie.

Let’s find out which movies are celebrating success and which ones are box office bombs.

Keep reading to learn more about movie industry revenue and how it shapes success.

3. With over $2.92 billion, James Cameron’s Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time

(Source: Statista)

James Cameron’s blue characters hit the screen in 2009 with massive success.

Although many would say the film could be better storytelling-wise, it’s a cinematic masterpiece on a technical level. Cameron’s work in that movie more or less paved the way for the ones that came after it.

This impressive work continues with the sequel (The Way of Water), which contains actual underwater scenes.

4. In North America, 2018 has been the best year in cinema in recent times, with over $11,892,160,011 in revenue

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

As of February 2024, 2018 is the most profitable year in cinema history. The total recorded amount from the box office for that year was almost $12 billion.

Disney ruled the box office that year, producing 10 of the highest-grossing movies.

5. Adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind would be the highest-grossing movie of all time, with a total of $3.44 billion

(Source: Guinness World Records)

In its release year of 1939, Gone with the Wind made $393 million at the box office.

When you count that in today’s money, you get $3.44 billion. Considering this, it would make Victo Fleming’s masterpiece the highest-grossing movie of all time.

However, because of inflation, the highest-grossing movies will always be more recent.

Global film industry statistics

Let’s take a closer look at international movie stats and trends

6. Bollywood had a massive breakthrough in the Chinese market with Dangal grossing nearly $197 million

(Source: Sagepub Journals)

Dangal, starring Bollywood star Aamir Khan had a huge international success, especially in China. In 2017, the movie grossed almost $197 million in the People’s Republic alone.

Chinese audiences seem to be more interested in Indian movies in general and Dangal’s themes of perseverance only helped that even more.

Over the past few years, Chinese audiences’ interest in Indian movies grew in general, but this was a massive success.

According to Sagepub Journals, the perservarance theme is why. In Chinese culture, this virtue is deeply valued.

7. China raked in $7.3 billion in box office revenue in 2021, dethroning Hollywood

(Source: Statista)

Hollywood and the North American movie industry often take the most attention, diverting focus away from other countries like China. 

All of this began to change in 2021 when the Chinese industry earned an estimated amount of $7.3 billion.

This surpasses the $4.5 billion the US and Canada made in the same year.

Despite not topping the list of the highest-grossing movies, the Chinese industry still had decent representation. Films like The Battle at Lake Changjin, Hi, Mom, and Detective Chinatown 3 made the top 10 list and had high returns.

Movie demographics statistics

Let’s dig more deeper and find details about who watches movies and who stars in them.

8. Movies are the most popular among people between the age of 18-34, as of 2022

(Source: Statista)

People aged 18 to 34 constitute the majority of moviegoers in the United States. Anyone in this age range has a 12% chance of always going to the movies, a 38% chance of sometimes going to the movies, a 41% chance of rarely going, and a 9% chance of never going.

12% of people in this age range said they’re always going to the movies. 38% agreed they’re sometimes going while 41% go to the cinema less often.

Only 9% of young adults stated they never visit a movie theater.

The other close performing age range is 35 to 44. They have a 9% chance of often going, a 36% chance of sometimes, a 40% chance of rarely, and a 15% chance of never.

9. 3 out of 10 lead actors in films in 2019 are people of color

(Source: University of California)

Since diversity and inclusion became core American values, each one of their industries, including movies, has seen an improvement in the participation of racial minorities.

In 2019, 27.6 of the leads in top films were people of color, a 1% increase compared to the previous year.

Studios are deliberately producing targeted movies for underrepresented communities and are making massive profits from it.

Wrap up

Movie statistics show some surprising data that the casual moviegoer might not know.

For example, many would think that Hollywood completely dominates the global office and produces the best movies.

The reality though is that the Chinese movie industry competes closely with Hollywood and has even outperformed it a few times.


Read more:


FAQ

What is the best movie statistically?

The Godfather (1972) takes the crown when it comes to ratings. It’s rated 93.06 overall, combining reviews from top sites like Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and Critics Choice, along with audience ratings from IMDb, Letterboxd, TMDb, Trakt, and Just Watch.

What are the statistics for movie sales?

Movie sales have been on the rise recently after suffering a massive drawback in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ticket sales in 2021, 2022, and 2023 are $4,482,808,453, $7,369,505,492, and $8,905,571,857, respectively. The highest-grossing movies in each of these years are Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick, and Barbie.

2009’s Avatar holds the record for the highest-grossing movie of all time, while numerous cinematic features have crossed the $1 billion mark.

Which is the No 1 movie in the world?

Based on box office earnings, Avatar is the no1 movie in the world. Though it faced some criticism, the overall reception is overwhelmingly positive.

The Way of Water, the sequel to the technical masterpiece was also a massive success. Three follow-ups of the movie are planned up until 2031.

Sources:

  1. Gower Street Analytics
  2. Statista
  3. Statista
  4. Statista
  5. Box Office Mojo
  6. Guinness World Records
  7. Sagepub Journals
  8. Statista
  9. University of California

More about the topics: Statistics