New York Times – Ebb and Flow at the Box Office

Just in time for the Academy Awards, the Stream Graph technique was applied to a data set containing the revenue per week for every movie released in 2007. The resulting graphic spanned the length of the New York Times for Sunday, February 24th, written and edited by Amanda Cox.

The summer, thanksgiving and winter holidays have the most box office hits. Box office hits peak high and fall quickly, as the result of hyped advertising. Movies which are nominated for Academy Awards tend to not peak very high, but have a much longer fall off, often remaining in theaters for months.

Supporting interactive graphic

Using the complete data set which covers over 20 years of box office revenue, Matthew Bloch and Shawn Carter implemented an interactive version of the Stream Graph in flash, allowing a traversal through time.

With this interactive graph, it becomes easy to see the repetitive pattern of the seasons as well as a change in blockbuster trends over the last decade.

Clicking on each layer will tell you more about that movie, and can link you to the NYTimes online movie database.

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