Box Office by IMDbPro Glossary


Box office tracking

Box office tracking refers to theatrical box office earnings. Additional sources of revenue, such as home entertainment sales and rentals, television rights, product placement fees, etc. are not included. Grosses published without an identified location reflect domestic earnings (i.e. United States and Canada) unless otherwise noted.


Theaters

Theaters refers to the number of locations where a movie is playing, but it does not necessarily reflect the number of screens. One theater location, for example, may play a movie on several screens. This is a necessary distinction since print and Web references routinely and mistakenly refer to theaters as screens.


Wide and limited releases

Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro considers a movie in wide release or about to go wide when it is playing at 600 or more theaters, which generally indicates a nationwide release (the term is short for "nationwide"). A movie is considered to be in limited release when playing at fewer than 600 theaters (i.e. released in one or more markets but not nationwide).


Production budget

Production budget refers to the cost to make the movie and it does not include marketing or other expenditures.


Gross

Gross refers to gross earnings in U.S. dollars. On average, a movie's distributor receives a little more than half of the final gross (often referred to as the "rentals") with the remainder going to the exhibitor (i.e. movie theater). The money split varies from movie to movie, but, generally, the contract favors the distributor in early weeks and shifts to the exhibitor later on.


Daily box office

Daily box office charts show gross receipts for a single day and are generally reported for the previous day by noon Pacific Time. Some movies are not officially tracked on a daily basis, so Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro makes estimates for those titles to fill out the top twelve. These estimates are marked as such on the appropriate charts. If daily reporting stops for a given movie it does not necessarily mean the movie is no longer playing in theaters, and the movie may continue to be tracked on a weekend or weekly basis.


Weekend box office

Weekend box office charts show gross receipts for a given weekend, which is Friday through Sunday unless otherwise noted. Studio estimates for the weekend are reported on Sunday mornings, generally between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pacific Time and reflect estimated Friday and Saturday box office receipts plus a projection for Sunday. As with daily box office, weekend estimates do not reflect all movies playing in theaters, but at least the top 12 plus select movies below that may be reported. Actual weekend box office receipts are reported Monday, generally after 1 p.m. Pacific Time, and reflect most movies currently playing. A final update to the chart may be made Monday night or later in the week to reflect grosses that are reported late.


Weekly box office

Weekly box office is a breakdown by week, Friday through Thursday.


Monthly box office

Monthly box office is a breakdown by month, January through December.


Quarterly box office

Quarterly box office is a breakdown by quarter (i.e. January through March is Q1, etc.).


Yearly box office

Yearly box office is a breakdown by year, up to the current year.


Seasonal box office

Seasonal box office is a breakdown by season. There are five box office seasons:

  • Winter (the first day after New Year's week or weekend through the Thursday before the first Friday in March)
  • Spring (the first Friday in March through the Thursday before the first Friday in May)
  • Summer (the first Friday in May through Labor Day weekend)
  • Fall (the day after Labor Day weekend through the Thursday before the first Friday in November)
  • Holiday (the first Friday in November through New Year's week or weekend).

Holiday box office

Holiday box office is a breakdown by holiday period. Holiday periods include: President’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


In-[period] and calendar grosses

Monthly, quarterly, season, and yearly charts can be viewed either by “in-[period] releases” or “calendar grosses”. Viewing by in-[period] releases shows total box office results for releases during that period, regardless of when the money was made. For example, viewing by in-year releases for 2019 shows box office results for all movies released in 2019. A movie released in 2018 will not appear on this chart even if it continued to earn money in 2019. Viewing by calendar grosses shows box office results within a given time period, regardless of when the movies were released. For example, viewing by calendar grosses for 2019 shows box office results for all movies that earned money in 2019. A movie released in 2018 may appear on this chart if it continued to earn money in 2019.

Calendar grosses are based on daily box office receipts or, when daily data is not available, estimates are used and are based on weekend and weekly data and historical box office trends. In cases where a final reported gross is different from its last reported gross for a given movie, the difference is assigned to the two weeks after the last reported gross date. In most cases, this reflects receipts that have trickled in after a movie has stopped being tracked for reportage. Since box office has been more closely tracked in recent years, the calendar gross data is generally considered more comprehensive after 2001, while pre-2001 estimates are considered approximate. Accuracy of calendar grosses improves over a wider range of time viewed.

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