In this edit, the box-office figures were converted from theatrical rental to box-office gross; however, The Numbers states The Alamo earned 7.9 million gross where as the Finler source that uses tehatrical rental states that the rental was $7.9 million. IMDB concurs with the Finler source. Also, the chart has completely omitted Butterfield 8 and Ocean's 11, presumably because the grosses are unknown. The end result is that the chart does not accurately rank the films by their gross. With that sort of rental both Butterfield 8 and Ocean's 11 would have earned over $10 million in box-office gross, and the figure The Numbers has for The Alamo clearly isn't accurate. Betty Logan (talk) 20:13, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
The-Numbers is considered a firmly reliable source. The other two you mentioned are not, especially IMDb. Shipofcool (talk) 00:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Finler is clearly a reliable source. The Numbers is obviously missing box-office grosses for films, and leaving them out of the chart makes it inaccurate. IMDB may not be a "reliable" source" but it is usually accurate and in this case it corroborates that the figure for The Alamo is a rental figure. As per the discussion at the Film Project, the list should only be converted if you can convert all the grosses which you have not done. This isn't a case of The Numbers having lower gross figures for Buterfield 8 or Ocean's 11, they simply don't have any at all. If you revert again I will have no option but to file an RFC. Betty Logan (talk) 01:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Request for comment about replacing top ten films charts with revisionist rankings.
There is a clear consensus to use rentals, if the box-office data isn't available for all films in reliable sources. ArmbrustThe Homonculus 07:45, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Should historic charts on 1960 in film and its family of articles ranking the most successful films of the year be replaced by a user-constructed chart that converts the theatrical rental to box-office gross using a selective process by dropping any films where the gross is unavailable? Betty Logan (talk) 02:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Background: Up to the 1990s Variety would compile the top ten films of the year using theatrical rental (as opposed to box-office gross, as is the case today). Theatrical rental is the distributor's share of the gross and is roughly half the box-office gross; there is no hard formula relating theatrical rental to box-office gross, so we are unable to calculate it ourself and are dependent on sources to perform the conversions for us. In many cases the studio/distributor themselves did not record the box-office gross, so in the cases of many old films (especially before the 1970s) rental is all that is known. For this reason, on many of the "XXXX in film" articles" we have used the contemporary rental lists.
The issue: User:Shipofcool has started replacing these rental charts with charts of converted grosses (see this edit). I have no fundamental problem with this, since box-office gross is a probably a better comparative measure and more easily understood by modern readers. The problem though is that many box-office grosses are unknown for older films, so he removed these films from the chart and replaced them with films where the gross is known. I have a huge problem with this, because it is a selective approach to presenting data. For instance, if only the theatrical rental was known for Star Wars we wouldn't just remove it from the chart and promote another film to the number 1 position! In this particular case he has dropped Butterfield 8 and Ocean's 11 from the chart simply because The Numbers doesn't list a box-office gross for them.
Synthesis: Shipofcool insists on using TheNumbers.com to source these grosses. I have no real problem with this source, it is usually accurate, but it doesn't rank the films. Shipofcool is sourcing the converted box-office figures from them and inventing the rankings himself. In the case of the rental charts, the source being using lists the films in the order of their success: , with the rental figures since 1940 sourced from Variety magazine. While the Finler book does not present ranks, it does order films by their success, which is a lot better than a Wikipedia editor dtermining which films get to make the cut.
My stance, and what I'd like input from the RFC about: In the case of charts where some of the box-office grosses are unobtainable, I think it would be a better approach to retain the rental charts, since they will better reflect the comparative performance of films during that period. I am absolutely against this revisionist agenda that is seeing films ditched in cases where grosses are unavailable. Betty Logan (talk) 02:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I still stand by my edits. The-Numbers is pretty much the only reliable source for the box office of pre-1980 films. The main problem with BettyLogan's current revision is that the order of the films is completely wrong. It has Swiss Family Robinson listed as the #4 movie of the year, behind Spartacus, Psycho, and Exodus. Betty's source for this is the "rentals" listed in some book. My source (which is far more credible) completely contradicts that, listing Swiss Family Robinson as the #1 movie of 1960 and grossing more than all of the films mentioned. Shipofcool (talk) 18:57, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
It is well known that Disney films used to get released periodically, and as I pointed out in my edit summary it had further releases in 1969 and 1981 so much of its gross came from those releases. It is debatable whether earnings from reissues should even be included in the chart considering those grosses do not come from the 1960 release—I can see both sides of the argument for including and excluding reissue earnings—but it's a moot point anyway though because you haven't just factored re-release grosses into the chart, you have actively removed films where the gross was simply unavailable i.e. you have added 1969 and 1981 earnings to the chart, and in the process removed 1960 earnings when you simply couldn't find them in your preferred metric; my version of the chart at least reflects the box-office standings for 1960. You still haven't explained why you simply removed films in cases where you could not locate the gross: if The Numbers has not documented these grosses it is simply because they don't know what the films earned in equivalent box-office gross, but that is not a good enough reason for dropping films from the chart IMO. I also dispute the claim that The Numbers is "more credible" than the Finler book; I have had the book vetted at RS/N where it was noted it was published by a publisher that specializes in academic texts, and Wikipedia expresses a preference for scholarly sources. Betty Logan (talk) 21:49, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
You could argue the same for Psycho, which was re-released in 1965 and 1971. But your argument is not relevant because The-Numbers does not include the re-release gross(es) in it's figures (as we discussed to death regarding Vertigo). Shipofcool (talk) 22:12, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I would argue the same for Psycho. The Finler figure does not include the reissue earnings to my knowledge. If Psycho has earned 32 million gross, then that would be roughly equivalent to about 16 million in rentals and the Finler figure is half of that amount. And your claim that The Numbers omits reissue earnings from its totals is misguided. Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn't. Check out the figures for Star Wars, Titanic, Gone with the Wind and all the other major Disney releases (Snow White, Pinocchio etc). Even on the year page for Star Wars, The Numbers lists its gross as 460 million, but it had only earned 323 million prior to its 1997 reissue which you can see from its weekend chart record. Betty Logan (talk) 22:29, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
As I said over at Wikiproject Film, it is time for Shipofcool to come here and explain his actions. Betty Logan makes a strong argument above for why these edits are improper. ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 13:48, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
While it is preferable to have grosses over rentals for reasons of modern understanding, the methodology Shipofcool is using is fundamentally flawed. The resulting lists are incomplete, innacurate, show lack of transparency re the methodology behind it and are almost certainly original research. Support revert back to lists using rentals as the sole metric. yorkshiresky (talk) 14:27, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Also support reverting to rentals. Too much WP:OR and WP:SYNTH in the new version. MarnetteD | Talk 15:04, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.