Home > AO1, Collecting data, Data set, Functional Maths, GCSE Maths 2010, Maths can be fun, Maths in the news, Problem solving, Statistics, Unit 1 > Avatar breaks box office records, creates interesting data sets

Avatar breaks box office records, creates interesting data sets

The publicity for James Cameron’s latest 3D blockbuster, Avatar, is pretty hard to miss and indeed the fact that it has just become the the #2 box office hit of all time has been incredibly widely reported.

Media outlets can report this kind of news accurately, through the use of movie box-office tracking sites like Box Office Mojo. If you go there too you will find this a really good source of live data sets that beat the usual “range of heights of students in a classroom” or “number of deaths from smoking”.

Three specific areas of the site worth a look are…

  • All time worldwide box office – you’ll find Titanic firmly settled in at #1 for now. Could be worth digging into the data to see if Avatar has a chance of beating it?
  • Box office showdown – this pits the performance of one movie against another of its type, under headings such as “fastest to $100m”. There’s a top-trumps-style activity just waiting to be born from that, surely
  • All time adjusted for inflation – particularly interesting as it demonstrates why Gone With The Wind is still the box office champ after all these years

The site is naturally US-centric and is a little too full of dating adverts for us to recommend a live visit while at front of class. But with a little preparation there are some great activities to be dug up here. And of course the great thing is it’s always live and contemporary stuff.

(Note the data is copyrighted, so not for commercial application without the owner’s consent).

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