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Movie Popularity

Problem Statement
Create two pie charts describing 1) the weekend total for the top ten movies at the theater, and 2) the total gross for the top ten movies at the theater. You can find the data at the Internet Movie Database.

How do the two pie charts compare? Explain why there might be any similarities or differences.

Submit your idea for an investigation to InterMath

Problem setup

Create pie charts of the weekend top ten movies comparing weekend income to the gross income.  


Plans to Solve/Investigate the Problem

First I went to the Internet Movie Database and pulled off the information on the top ten movies including the weekend income for October 15-18 and the gross income year to date.  Then I opened Excel and created a chart listing the top ten movies in Column A, the weekend income for each in Column B and the gross income for each in Column C (see below).


Movie Title Weekend Gross
Shark Tales 22 119
Friday Night Lights 12.2 37.8
Team America: World Police 12.1 12.1
Shall We Dance 11.8 11.8
Ladder 8.5 53.7
Taxi 7.89 23.9
Forgotten 6.01 57.2
Raise Your Voice 2.76 7.9
Diarios de motocicleta 1.76 5.75
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 1.22 35.9


Once I completed the chart, I highlighted the movies and weekend income and created a pie chart from that information. (see below).



After completing the graph showing the weekend income, I hid Column B (weekend income) and highlighted the movie names along with the gross income (Column C). (See below).




Investigation/Exploration of the Problem

By looking at the two charts, there are some similarities and differences.  Shark Tales, for instance, was the largest piece of the pie in both the weekend and gross charts.  In some cases, the weekend income for some movies was smaller than their gross income.  These movies have probably been out longer and are currently less popular due to the new movies.  Their gross is higher because they made more when they first came out.  Several of the movies have the same amount in the weekend chart and the gross chart but the pie pieces are different sizes.  This is because they opened on this weekend and while they did well for the weekend income, they do not compare to movies that have been out longer and have a larger gross income.  Another comparison that can be made from the two charts would be to see which movies were most popular over the weekend and which movies seem to be the most popular overall.  While Team America and Shall We Dance seem to be popular weekend movies, they appear to look less popular on the gross chart because their weekend and gross incomes are the same amount.  Diarios de motocicleta does not appear to be a very popular movie according to the weekend and gross charts.


This is a great investigation to use for comparisons.  By setting up the two graphs, it is easier to see the differences and similarities between the two pieces of information.

Author & Contact
Laura Grimwade