Highest grossing movies


Let your students develop their own ideas about compounded percent change while they have the opportunity to speak about the upcoming Academy Awards show.

Worldwide box office income is compared for the top ten grossing movies of all time. Is total gross the most appropriate way to judge the popularity of a movie?  How does inflation and increasing ticket prices come into play? Inflation rates are used to let students calculate how the money of 1997 compares to the money of 2013. The idea of this comparison is to encourage students to develop their own understanding of exponential growth.

This activity is accessible to students as young as 5th or 6th grade once they have become familiar with computing with exponents and percents.  The activity is appropriate for middle schoolers and high schoolers as well by allowing students to generalize a formula for finding the adjusted-for-inflation earnings of any movie.



For members we have Word docs, an Excel sheet and solutions.

all-time-highest-grossing-movies.docx   oscars2013.xls     all-time-highest-grossing-movies-solutions.pdf

More Oscar's related activities: You can also use some of our past activities to bring the excitement of the Academy Awards into your classroom.

  • Movie ticket prices over time - In this investigation, Brian looks at the changes in movie ticket prices over the last 30 years. Using his scatter plot (or his data) students analyze rates of change, make predictions about the future ticket costs, guesses about past costs and try to create lines of best fit.
  • How many movies can you see in one day - Robert Kaplinsky contributed this activity where students are asked to analyze a situation, consider contributing factors, and present a logical solution as they create a tightly arranged schedule of the most movies that they can see in one day. 
  • Do the best movies make the most money? - Ten movies are nominated each year for the Academy Awards.  Students compare the votes that the last 20 nominated movies received with their worldwide gross in theaters.  Does number of votes for best picture correlate with money earned at theaters?
  • Opening weekend - Last year Star Wars, the Force Awakens was a popular movie that made a ton of money during their opening weekends at the box office.  Can you tell from its opening weekend how the movie will do in the long run?
  • Money making holiday movies - Students analyze holiday movie data. They will round, estimate, compare, calculate percent increase, consider the most appropriate graphical representation and graph the data … along with sharing what they have seen and enjoyed.

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