What does the word Box Office mean? What does it signify? Is it worldwide or region based?

The amount shown is millions. How much do the people involved in the making of the movie get?


2 Answers 2


The word "box office", by itself, originally meant the actual office in a theater where you could go to reserve or purchase tickets. The name most likely derives from the fact that you would typically go to the box office to purchase private boxes.

These days, the term almost always refers to the gross ticket sales of a movie, play, etc. In this sense, it's a short-hand way of saying "all of the money that was spent at the box office on tickets". If a movie had a box office of, say, $10 million, it would mean that it sold $10,000,000 in tickets over a given period of time. The number factors in things like higher ticket prices for 3-D movies, price variations by regions, etc -- it really is just the raw gross income of everyone who paid to see it.

You can talk about the "box office" for a movie in any number of breakdowns: per theater, per region, per country, or worldwide. Usually when you see the term used in entertainment media, it will be called "worldwide box office" or "US box office", or whatever. Without any such qualification, it probably means "local country's box office" for whatever news source is reporting the numbers; that is, a US media outlet reporting on the "weekend box office" is probably talking about just the US numbers.

The movie studio does not get to keep 100% of the box office; it's split between a number of parties involved in getting the movie onto the screen, including the theaters themselves, distributors, etc. You can see a more detailed description of how this works in this related answer.

  • More likely, the term derives from the fact that the office itself is usually a literal box on the outside of the theatre. Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 2:30

Box Office refers to the ticket window at a theater. What the theater collects when a movie is shown. Where you pay for your ticket to get into the theater.

It's a collective number which represents the gross receipts (money collected). This means, it's what the movie theater collects in total, and not just the profit (gross receipts minus expenses).

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