Box Office Mojo first popped up on the archaic, AOL-dominated internet way back in 1999. By 2008, Box Office Mojo was holding strong with nearly 2 million visitors. But another online movie giant saw them coming from afar and snatched them up. In July 2008, Box Office Mojo was purchased by the Internet Movie Database, popularly known as IMDb, for an undisclosed amount.
Around the time of the Box Office Mojo deal, IMDb was pretty secretive about what their plans were for the site, though they did heap heavy praise on the content that it was able to produce, especially with its only three-person staff at the time. Keith Simanton, managing editor of IMDb, told Puget Sound Business Journal that the work Box Office Mojo did for movie profit numbers was unrivaled in the industry.
“Box Office Mojo has been fanatical and assiduous about getting info about box office (numbers) and it’s really hard to get it right… There’s a reason why Mojo is a destination site for studio execs… We have plans for it which we can’t get into.”
Box Office Mojo might have been small by comparison, but its fan base showed its strength through a string of angered responses on Twitter to the site being down. Many of the comments blamed IMDb for shutting down the site, hinting that it had only bought Box Office Mojo to knock out the competition. Among the biggest complaints came from entertainment news reporters who undoubtedly rely a lot on Box Office Mojo’s exhaustive history of movie ticket sales.
— Russ Fischer (@russfischer) October 10, 2014
If boxofficemojo is gone for good, it’s an awful loss. That database is essential, & not duplicated elsewhere on the web as far as I know.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) October 10, 2014
However, another Twitter user doubted that Box Office Mojo had really bitten the dust. Although Box Office Mojo is redirecting to IMDb’s page with similar stats, a statement hasn’t been released from either company yet.
The original reporter who claimed Box Office Mojo was being shut down by imdb is now crediting his instinct and eyes as his source. Ughhh.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) October 10, 2014
One thing’s for sure — Box Office Mojo is inaccessible at the moment. We’ll have to wait to see if IMDb revives the trusted source or not after the public uproar.
[Image via 20th Century Fox and Flickr]