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Movie Tickets Are Pricier, So Is 'Star Wars' Really Breaking Records?

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is breaking records right and left. But is it such a standout when you adjust for inflation?

By Katie Link | January 5, 2016

Chances are you've heard of this little movie called "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and you've probably heard it's breaking all sorts of records.

"Avatar" currently seems to be the film to beat. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will battle the sci-fi movie for the titles of top-grossing film domestically and worldwide. "Star Wars" only trails the domestic record by about $20 million, and that's after only a couple of weeks in theaters.

"The Force Awakens" will challenge the worldwide record when it hits theaters in China later this week.

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But here's the thing, movie tickets cost more today than they did in 2009 when "Avatar" debuted. In 2009, the average U.S. ticket price was $7.50. As of October, the average ticket price rang in at $8.25 a pop.

So as movie ticket prices continue to climb, breaking records gets easier and easier. But when you adjust for movie ticket inflation, the records look a little different.

For instance, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the first "Star Wars" movie, "Star Wars: A New Hope," brought in $2.8 billion globally when you adjust for inflation. 

But the 1939 blockbuster "Gone with the Wind" continues to reign supreme. According to The Independent, when adjusted for inflation, it's the top-grossing film of all time. Behind that is "Avatar," "Star Wars," "Titanic," then "The Sound of Music."

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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