Cluster bar chart of box office from best picture and #1 box office 2009-2018

Best Picture Winner Compared to Box Office #1

The Best Picture Oscar winner lags far behind the top box office movie as shown in this cluster bar chart.  The average box office for the Best Picture winner was $178M with Slumdog Millionaire the 2008 winner leading with $378M. The average box office #1 brought in $1,464M with Avatar leading with $2,777M.  Box Office Mojo provided the data for the chart.    While the Best Pictures were often dramas like this year's winner The Shape of Water, the box office #1s were dominated by action movie franchises like Star Wars and Marvel.

Cluster Bar Chart with Average Lines

Cluster bar chart of box office from best picture and #1 box office 2009-2018

How I Created The Cluster Bar Chart

I chose a horizontal cluster bar chart to show in the chart both the year and the names of the Best Picture winner and box office #1 movie.  Each bar represented a year.  I typed in the data and the movie names into the Mekko Graphics Data Editor.

Here are the steps to make the chart:

  • create columns for each year and rows for box office revenue for box office #1 and best picture winner and for the names of the best picture winner and box office #1
  • make the movie name rows data columns
  • adjust margins to provide lots of white space to the left of the chart
  • adjust sort so that the 2018 bar is on top
  • reduce the font size of all labels to 8 point
  • move years to the left edge of the chart
  • copy the movie names into an Excel spreadsheet and replace the spaces in the names with non-breaking spaces (Alt-0160) to prevent the movie names from word wrapping in the chart and move them back into the Mekko Graphics Data Editor
  • move the movie names for best picture to the left of the axis to align with the top bar of the cluster and take a similar approach with #1 box office names
  • in-place edit the Harry Potter label to fit it on two lines
  • color the series
  • add the average lines, color them to match the series colors and place the labels on the bottom of the chart
  • add the legend and move it to the upper right.

Take This Chart and Make It Your Own

Download this chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics.  To learn more about bar charts, see these examples in our Chart Gallery

Here are some other posts that may interest you:

Star Wars Franchise by the Numbers

American Moviegoers by Age and Ethnicity