Owners Of Movie Theaters Apparently Very Confused About How Money Works

The AP is reporting today that Will Smith was 2008’s most successful box office draw. Fair enough. Will Smith is a very famous movie actor, and has been for some time. And most of his movies are major blockbusters that do very well for themselves. It seems mildly believable that Will Smith was the year’s most successful box office draw of 2008. Although, wait a second, wasn’t The Dark Knight practically the highest grossing film of all time? No offense to the I’m sure impressive ticket sales for Hancock, but seriously, wait, what? Was it Seven Pounds? Was it the Christmas week box office of Seven Pounds that put Smith over the edge to beat out THE HIGHEST GROSSING FILM OF ALL TIME, PRACTICALLY SPEAKING. So then you start to read this article, because for one you’re kind of fascinated by just the simple thought of gigantic sums of money, but also something seems a little off to you about this whole Will Smith thing especially in 2008, and the opening paragraph is as follows:

No name on the marquee was more pleasing to theater owners in 2008 than Will Smith, according to a survey of movie exhibitors. Smith, star of “Hancock” and “Seven Pounds,” was voted the star who generated the most box office revenue for theaters in an annual survey by Quigley Publishing Co.

Um, movie exhibitors voted on who generated the most box office revenue? VOTED? I’m not an economist, so this is probably going to sound so stupid to most of you (our readership is evenly split between 12-year-old girls and professional economists), but surely there’s some better system for determining who generated the most box office revenue in a single year than a semi-formal vote. There must be some way. For example:

That’s just a suggestion, obviously. I’m sure that an annual survey of movie exhibitors by Quiqley Publishing Co. is accurate to within six decimal places. Which is why the second place winner in their annual poll was the astonishingly successful 2008 box office draw of Dax Shepard. It goes Will Smith, Dax Shepard, Skeet Ulrich, Tracy Ullman. Science.