Award-nominated movies vs. highest grossing

Posted to Statistical Visualization  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Dorothy Gambrell of very small array continues with her fascination of movie quality and money gross. This time around she looks looks at the overlap between Academy Award nominees and highest grossing films from 1928 to present. While the two categories are not mutually exclusive, the overlap isn’t incredible common. [very small array]


  • What does Y represent?

    • Vertical length represents number of movies

      • number of movies? then the orange bars should have the same height, shouldn’t they?

      • I agree with Tonial. If the bars are the # of movies, then why aren’t the orange bars all the same size?

      • Because the section in the middle is “both” meaning the height of “both” + the height of “highest grossing” should be the same. You don’t see equal height on the top though, because the graph is centered vertically on “both.”

  • This is a good looking chart/plot! Keep in mind one of these categories is ‘overlap’ so one less ‘overlap’ means two more units (one each in HG and AA). Stacked bars initially made me think constant height for some reason, had to work this out in my tiny brain…

  • Very pretty, but it is not at all clear to me what the bars represent.

  • No units. No labels. No tick marks for me to know how many were overlapping. No base line. The number of Academy nominations varied from year to year and this is both difficult to discern and skews the implications. The year demarcation centered on the bars implies that the grouping of films is from summer to summer and not the calendar year.
    Make horizontal marks on the bars so you can count the number of films. Move the line for the year to the left of the bars. Keep the bars for highest grossing films in line with each other left to right. Use brighter colors.

  • Nate, I have to say I’m not very impressed with this one, as there is actually very little information transmitted for the amount of ink. We are counting movies, but “Highest Grossing” always has 10 and the “Best Picture” has either 5 or 10. Thus the only real data is in “Both.” So why not drop the other two categories?


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