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Visualizing Movie Revenues March 4, 2008

Posted by Andre Vellino in CISTI Visualization, User Interface, Visualization.

This New York Times Flash visualization of how movies have fared at the box office over time has received a lot of attention in the blogosphere, but it’s deserves the attention it’s getting. Simply put – it’s beautiful.

N.Y. Times visualization of box office revenues

The icing on the cake for the authors of this piece must be Ben Shneiderman’s 6-line comment on the Portfolio.com blog post about how this thing came to be. Nothing like praise from the father of it all.


1. Daniel Lemire - March 4, 2008

To me, ths is useless. No drill-down, no roll-up, no comparisons, no interactivity. It is just a static, non-interactive image with hyperlinks added as an afterthought. This will look old in 3 weeks.

(Though I now know you a little bit, and I could have predicted you’d like this.)

2. Andre Vellino - March 5, 2008

I didn’t say it was useful – just beautiful :-). And for something that was put together in 3 days in Flash, I think it’s quite interesting. One criticism I saw was that the data representation wasn’t normalized on the x-axis (“above” and “below” the x-axis don’t mean anything in the original NYT representation) and they did a version that is normalized (so that the y-axis means something) which is probably more useful.

I take your point about limited interactivity. But I think the graphical ideas (colour shading for areas under the curve-shape, the superposition of slices in time) could be combined with what was a promising interactive tool from Gapminder – http://www.gapminder.org/world/ (which Google bought some time ago but doesn’t seem to have developed any further for some reason).

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