I watched Avatar today, in preparation for a likely weekend trip to see Avatar 2: The Way of Water at the weekend. Both films have now taken over US$2 billion dollars. As making over a billion at the box office is now commonplace, it’s worth considering the difference in scale between 1 million and 1 billion and from there to 1 trillion.

Easiest thought of by comparing seconds of time.

Number of secondsDuration
10^0 seconds1 second1 second
10^1 seconds10 seconds10 seconds
10^2 seconds100 seconds1 minute, 40 seconds
10^3 seconds1,000 seconds16 minutes, 40 seconds
10^4 seconds10,000 seconds2 hours, 47 minutes (approx.)
10^5 seconds100,000 seconds1 day, 4 hours (approx.)
10^6 seconds1 million seconds11 days, 14 hours (approx.)
10^7 seconds10 million seconds115 days, 18 hours (approx.)
10^8 seconds100 million seconds3.1687 years
10^9 seconds1 billion seconds31.69 years
10^10 seconds10 billion seconds3.169 centuries
10^11 seconds100 billion seconds3.169 millennia
10^12 seconds1 trillion seconds31,689 years

If you earned a dollar per second, you would have your first million after just 11 days. It would take you almost 32 years to get to your first billion at the same rate.

Movies that have taken over $2 billion have made serious money whichever way you calculate it.