Pardon the title but being a fan of visual representation of quantitative data, and of Edward Tufte, I really, really liked The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts, 1986-2008 by Mathew Bloch, Lee Byron, Shan Carter and Amanda Cox. Great stuff. Us historians need to learn from these guys ways of presenting historical data/information in graphical format. Think, for example, the 1100 - 1800 period in India with many competing claimants to power and a similar ebb and flow of dynastic succession.
And specifically on the map, look how long the tail used to be.
That's gorgeous. And you're right about the long tail. Look how spiky the summer blockbusters are now (especially the stinkers) compared to something like Top Gun. Or check out the very different shape of a sleeper like My Big Fat Greek Wedding.