box office
1786, presumably from sales of boxes, box seats ("separated private seating").

Folk etymology is that this derives from Elizabethan theatre, where theater admission was collected in a box attached to a long stick, passed around the audience.

Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈbɒksˌɒfɪs/
  • (America) enPR: bäksʹä'fĭs, IPA: /ˈbɑksˌɑfɪs/
Noun

box office

  1. (countable, film, theater) A place where tickets are sold in a theatre/theater or cinema.
  2. (uncountable, by extension, film) the total amount of money paid by people worldwide to watch a movie at cinemas/movie theaters.
Synonyms Translations


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