No matter which way you cut it, Batman means blockbuster. The theatrical phenomenon began in 1989 with Tim Burton’s Batman, which grossed $251 million and spawned three sequels. Then, in 2005, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins grossed $205 million and spawned two sequels, The Dark Knight ($533 million) and The Dark Knight Rises, which is at $413 million and climbing.

However, in 1989, the average price of an American movie tickets was about $4 and now, in 2012, it’s doubled to around $8. Do some simple math and you see that Burton’s film has, so far, sold around 12 million more tickets than Nolan’s latest movie. (To be fair, Rises is far from done at the box office and will likely drop that number to around 10 million when it’s done.) Also, to Nolan’s credit, 2008′s The Dark Knight sold about 12 million more tickets than Burton’s movie.

What other interesting conclusions can be made when you adjust grosses for inflation or look at number of tickets sold? Find out after the jump.

Big props to @BrianWCollins and Movies.com for first pointing out this great bit of trivia. They also point out that if you look at the population of America in 1989 versus the amount of tickets sold, one of four people – roughly – paid to see Batman in the theater. The current film is more like one is six.

Where are we getting all this info? Box Office Mojo has a feature where you can take highest grossing films of all time and adjust for inflation, tickets sold, etc. The tickets sold is the best one because that literally is a 1:1 rundown of asses in seats. You can check out that full list here.

To put that in perspective, the current box office champion, Avatar, grossed $761 million domestically and sold just over 97 million tickets….good for thirteenth all time. Yes, 12 movies have sold more tickets (some much more) than the highest grossing film of all time.

What’s the point of all this? Not much. It’s fun. Also, it puts a whole new perspective on those “box office records” films break at the box office ever summer. Those numbers might not be as impressive as they sound.

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