Ten Years Old Today! - The Numbers
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Ten Years Old Today!

October 17th, 2007

The Numbers Home Page, circa 1999
The Numbers' Home Page, May 1999
(courtesy the Internet Archive www.archive.org)

The Numbers celebrates its tenth anniversary today. Although an early version of the site had been running on Geocities (remember that?) for a few months, October 17, 1997 was the day we first rolled out the new-look site at www.the-numbers.com. In the process, we became the first site to offer detailed movie financial information for free on the web, and we've continued to innovate to this day as we've maintained our lead as the most complete resource for movie fans and professionals looking for box office data, and more.

When we first appeared on that day back in 1997, we had a total of 220 movies in our database, with weekend box office charts dating all the way back to the beginning of that year. Since then, well, we've grown a bit. The database starts its second decade with 10,678 movies tracked, and our weekend charts run all the way back to the beginning of regular reporting. In fact, through many hours of archival research, we've managed to push back our weekend reporting to before weekend charts even existed. By combining contemporary reports from the studios, we recently created weekend charts running back through 1980 and 1981. Our search for historical information continues.

Meanwhile, our database of people has expanded to include over 3,000 people (3,023 as of this morning), with 559 directors. This has allowed us to create the widely-followed Top-Grossing Star Chart, which records the biggest stars in terms of box office dollars.

The earliest days of the site included daily and weekend box office tracking, along with credits for major performers. We were also providing information to players of the Hollywood Stock Exchange in those earliest days -- in fact, Bruce Nash started the site partly because he was a player himself and couldn't find the information he needed to make good buying and selling decisions. We've added greatly to those basic features over the years.

Here are some of our other innovations:

- The Per Theater Chart and report has been a regular feature of the site since we started back in 1997 and has become a standard benchmark for the early performance of limited releases.

- Our movie budget charts are, we believe, the most comprehensive available, and include a unique analysis of the profitability (and incredible loss-making) of the most (at least) successful movies in history.

- Our franchise chart analyzes the performance of movie franchises.

- We developed, over several years, a movie classification system that objectively categorizes every movie produced according to five criteria. This classification system is used to build our extremely popular market charts, as well as being behind the analysis we do for our private clients in the movie and finance industries.

- Our weekly world chart is the first chart that reports on box office performance worldwide on a weekly basis. With the global market growing ever larger, this chart is the most accurate measure of the true financial performance of a movie at the box office.

- Most recently, we introduced the first weekly DVD sales chart to include estimates of units sold and total revenue.

We think our record speaks for itself, but you can rest assured that we're not finished here. We have big plans for our 11th year, with several new features already in development, and we're excited about the way new media is opening up new possibilities for people to see their favorite movies, and new business models for us to track.

As with any major endeavor, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to many, many people who have helped us over the years. But I would like to single out some people in particular. Pim Beers and C.S. Strowbridge adding their expertise to the site for several years now, and have helped it grow in leaps and bounds. Pim's tireless research has grown the database to be both "deeper" and "wider" than I would have thought possible ten years ago. And C.S.'s writing keeps the site brimming with the latest news, gossip and the idle speculation our readers have come to love (most of the time!). Finally, of course, I have to thank the thousands of people who have sent us feedback, corrections and additional information over the years. From people correcting a character's name in a minor movie to the incredibly generous researchers who have shared with us the fruits of many hours of intensive work, the site has always been a collaborative effort, and we couldn't have made it the resource it is without you.

Thank you, everyone, and here's to the next ten years!

Bruce Nash
Founder and Publisher, The Numbers