Hollywood made $10 billion in 2009. In better news, only 5 billion years till the sun runs out of fuel!


On the face of it, today’s story that 2009 was Hollywood’s best ever (so thanks for rewarding creativity, America), raking in some $10 billion, should be good news for a few people. It should be good news for the movie studios, which will now invest that money in yachts, caviar, human growth hormone, and sequels to today’s sequels. It should be good news for theatre owners, who were concerned that people would stop going to the movies as a result of the recession. Not so! (As if they didn’t have a precedent to cite…) It should be good news, in a weird way, to people who pirate movies and bleat that their doing so isn’t harming the industry one bit.

What I’m wondering is, do these figures take inflation into account? Should they? I remember when AC Milan transferred Kaka to Real Madrid last summer Sky Sports, which is UK-based, was all, “This is a world-record transfer fee!” (The fee agreed upon between AC Milan and Real Madrid was 67.2 million euros.) The thing is, Sky Sports converted that currency amount, 67.2 million euros, into pounds sterling, which worked out to 68.5 million pounds. A few years prior, in 2001, however, Zidane went from Juventus to Real Madrid for 78 million euros, which, went at the time was converted to pounds was less than 68.5 million pounds. Basically, between 2001 and 2009 the pound sterling had lost valued compared to the euro, so when you converted the 2009 transfer fee into pounds it looked bigger than it actually was.

Then you have to take into account the relative inflation of both currencies between 2001 and 2009.

Back to my point: is $10 billion in 2009 dollars really anything to get excited about? I mean it obviously is, here and now, but when we’re talking records these things really ought to be clarified. If something cost $10 in 1940, for example, it’d cost $15.07 in 2009. See what I mean?

Oh, who cares. Hollywood made a bunch of money this year. Hooray and so forth. Let’s drink wine.

Time to write my screenplay about a college chemistry professor who bilks the government out of tax revenue by claiming liquor store purchases as “chemicals” for his classroom, and thus a write-off.