Stanley Kubrick’s meticulousness about his movies extended right on down to how they were marketed. When A Clockwork Orange came out in the US, he spent weeks crunching theater ticket grosses to figure out which theaters the film should play in.
Clockwork would be shown in standard cinemas as a quality platform release, which meant there were many options per city. I knew that Don Rugoff’s Cinema 1, the most prestigious cinema in New York, had to be the New York theater, but how to be sure that the film would be booked into the best cinema in Indianapolis or Cleveland or Atlanta? To choose the right theater in each city, we needed to know which cinema sold the most tickets to the most interesting pictures. But while a studio would know what its own films grossed, detailed box-office figures of competitive films were closely held secrets. There was no comparative information, and that is exactly what Stanley wanted.
Influenced by Kubrick’s system, Variety released their first nation box office rankings chart a few months later. (via df)