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IMDb trivia advancing the "presumed" worth of things assuming rates of inflation or CPI


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I don't know if this topic has been broached here before; a rudimentary search didn't yield anything recognizable.

For those not in the know, IMDb allows trivia items for movies, and every once in a while you will run across one like this:

Quote

The $265 price tag for Marian's dress would be just over $5,000 in 2020.

from "The Hardys Ride High" trivia page.

I'm sorry, but that is just plain wrong, UNLESS that dress is now sold as a valued collectible for the movie.

This clearly misstates how values of Things works vs. Money. That is just a second-hand dress otherwise, and probably not worth more than a couple bucks at the Goodwill store, or similar.

The Value of the MONEY, $265, could truly be worth $5000 in 2020, if it had been kept as MONEY placed into a wise investment, rather than a dress, or maybe even regular interest growth compounded since the movie was made in 1939.

Other examples:

They sometimes misstate how much a movie would budget to be made today. WRONG; that movie would get a budget approved by the producer, which may or most likely WILL NOT have any correlation to how much it cost exactly in 1939. It might even warrant $0 and not be made at all.

They sometime misstate how much a movie lost when released and what that is worth today - WRONG. That movie, IF APPROVED AS A PROJECT FOR TODAY, would have today's budget and today's intake yielding today's profit, OR LOSS, totally non-correlated to what it did in 1939, since demand and tastes are really, really different.

IMDb should be screening these types of comments for that inaccuracy.

Anyone with me?

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  • wbogacz changed the title to IMDb trivia advancing the "presumed" worth of things assuming rates of inflation or CPI
54 minutes ago, wbogacz said:

I don't know if this topic has been broached here before; a rudimentary search didn't yield anything recognizable.

For those not in the know, IMDb allows trivia items for movies, and every once in a while you will run across one like this:

I'm sorry, but that is just plain wrong, UNLESS that dress is now sold as a valued collectible for the movie.

This clearly misstates how values of Things works vs. Money. That is just a second-hand dress otherwise, and probably not worth more than a couple bucks at the Goodwill store, or similar.

The Value of the MONEY, $265, could truly be worth $5000 in 2020, if it had been kept as MONEY placed into a wise investment, rather than a dress, or maybe even regular interest growth compounded since the movie was made in 1939.

Other examples:

They sometimes misstate how much a movie would budget to be made today. WRONG; that movie would get a budget approved by the producer, which may or most likely WILL NOT have any correlation to how much it cost exactly in 1939. It might even warrant $0 and not be made at all.

They sometime misstate how much a movie lost when released and what that is worth today - WRONG. That movie, IF APPROVED AS A PROJECT FOR TODAY, would have today's budget and today's intake yielding today's profit, OR LOSS, totally non-correlated to what it did in 1939, since demand and tastes are really, really different.

IMDb should be screening these types of comments for that inaccuracy.

Anyone with me?

There's some truth to this.  In most of these entries, people just apply the inflation rate to an item.   But there's still some value in these comparisons sometimes.  If it's a plot point in a film or TV episode where someone buys an item for a certain amount, it can help to put into today's context what that item might cost in today's money.  It's not necessarily saying that a 50 year old item would be worth that.  Likely it would be worth less.  But if it were a rare collectible, it could be worth much more.  It's not an exact estimate by any means, because the way consumer goods are made today is vastly different - most things being imported and produced using cheap labor today.  But it gives you an idea of how things have changed economically.  But isn't it still interesting to know that if someone paid $265 for a dress back then, a similar dress might cost you $5000 in today's money?  It lets someone know that it was a very pricey dress, indeed.

If anything, it's a lesson in inflation for folks. 

As far as film production goes, there's no easy way to compare costs of productions from one era to the next, because the business has changed so much (demise of the studio system, higher actor's salaries, production techniques that didn't exist then, and production and distribution costs that no longer exist today (for example, no need to make hundreds of film prints these days).  

As far as IMDb goes, I don't think they have the staff and the staff doesn't have the capability to verify all those items.  I've submitted trivia items that could have only been verified by watching a particular scene in a film or TV series, and the approval on most of these comes back too quickly for anyone to have located said scene to verify it.   They could adopt a policy of just rejecting such items outright, but I doubt the trivia section is much of a priority for them.

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Cool thread.  I might come back to this later tonight, but for now here are a couple links.

US Debt Clock.  In particular, try the "Time Machine" link in the upper right hand corner.
https://usdebtclock.org/

Also for anyone interested in precious metals as a hedge against inflation, here is a link to someone else's project for best dealer prices on silver.
https://no-bs-silver.com/

 

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By the way, I'm always checking things like this when I hear a dollar figure thrown out, using inflation calculators (but I don't submit it to IMDb).  It's interesting, to me, anyway, to know how pricey things like televisions and radios were before the rise of cheap transistors and printed circuit boards.  It also explains why my parents delayed getting a color TV until the early 70s!  TVs today are pretty much a throwaway item (you toss them when they stop working, as opposed to the "old" days when the TV repairman would visit to repair it)

For me, it came up more in TV than movies, especially on sitcoms like I Love Lucy.  When Lucy wanted a Don Loper dress that cost $500 in the mid-50s, it helped to relate to the story exactly how 'spensive it really was, and why Ricky would explode.  I already knew it was 3-4 times what they paid the Mertz's for rent, but it still helped.  

It also can show where items have outpaced inflation.   I'm sure there are many people in NYC that would be thrilled to go back to the relative price levels of apartments in the 1950s.   The Ricardo's apartment in the east 60s was going for $125/month.   That's pretty much in line with what I found here (might be a little low):

https://ny.curbed.com/2013/11/21/10172014/what-would-50-in-1940-rent-a-new-yorker-today

In this case, NYC apartment rents have far, far outpaced inflation!  Same goes with housing on the west coast.

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I believe that the average person understands that the prices given reflect the cost of equivalent merchandise today. 

I find it interesting how the cost of merchandise changes as technology and manufacturing volume changes. My very first flat-screen television was slightly smaller than the one I most recently purchased and it was more than twice the price of today's model with no adjustment for inflation/deflation. 

It is slightly more difficult to wrap my head around the differences when comparing prices of goods over longer time scales. I have a notation that a Medieval lord wishing tables built paid more for one hundred suitable nails than he paid in salary to the carpenter who built them. The cost of one hundred such nails today is approx. one dollar and a carpenter would have to be paid more than three hundred dollars. To add confusion is that such 2d nails were originally so named because one hundred of them cost two pennies and they are now approx. a penny each. It complicates things to no end that a penny is no longer a penny.

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Also the US was taken off the gold standard in 1971, which eventually correlated to no more decent cars for $6000, among other things.

Some people in Europe are already looking forward to something called Basel III, which would initially put Europe onto some sort of a gold standard or a gold-backed currency.  I personally don't trust anything that the powerbrokers say who have a vested interest in keeping everyone except themselves in debt.  I think it would be better if it came from a different source...  Stay tuned.

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This thread reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote:

"The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

(...NOT that I'm calling anyone here a cynic, mind you)  ;) 

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This thread ALSO reminds me of what JUST the transaxle off James Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder that he died in went for recently on the 'Bring a Trailer' online classic and collectable car auction site...

Little-Bastard-Transaxle.jpg

A cool $382,000.

And whereas in 1955, Dean paid around $6,800 for the entire car.

(...yes, a lot of money for any car back then, but still, put $6,800 in 1955 dollars in an inflation calculator, and it would "only" be about $68,000 in 2021 dollars)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

And whereas in 1955, Dean paid around $6,800 for the entire car.

My crystal ball said this was where we'd go. 

Pantera in 1973 = $10k

Today $100k

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