Maverick: Top Gun has generated outstanding box office earnings. Some are claiming the earnings are the fifth best in movie history. Yet, when adjusted for inflation, Maverick drops from #5 to #122.
Shown below is the middle of a table ranking films by the equivalent of gallons of gas. Maverick took in 1.4 billion dollars and, in present times, that is the equivalent of 342 million gallons of gas.
In comparison, Avengers End-Game (2019) took in 1.1 billions gallons of gas, or almost four times more than Maverick.
Here’s the top of the table, showing the top seven movies of all time, adjusted for inflation, with Avengers (2019) ranked #5.
As a hypothetical example, if a movie sells $10,000 in tickets and the price of gas is $2, then the earnings are 5,000 gallons of gas.
But if a movie sells $20,000 in tickets but the price of gas is $5, then the earnings are 4,000 gallons of gas.
To accurately rank films by earnings, one cannot use the Federal Reserve dollar. One must use the price of a commodity and ideally the price of a basket of commodities.
Download a PDF of the numbers.
The lockdown from 2020 to 2022 in many of the 50 states led to a 96% reduction in box office earnings.