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The term box office likely refers to the office where 'boxes', private seating areas, were sold at theatres and its usage derives back to the 1780s. Theatres today still have boxes, and some cinemas and theatres refer to the best seats as box seats.

The term also possibly originates from Shakespearean times, in which boxes would be used to collect a fee. However, due to thieves, the boxes would only contain a small amount of money, and the full boxes would be placed in an office, collectively called a "Box Office".

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Q: Origins of the term box office?
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At the front and center of theatres was the box office. Literally, an office the size of a box where you would buy your ticket. You can still see box offices in older theatres. As well, many modern theatres still use the same structure. Therefore, if a movie was a "box office blowout," then it sold out the ticket stand. At the front and center of theatres was the box office. Literally, an office the size of a box where you would buy your ticket. You can still see box offices in older theatres. As well, many modern theatres still use the same structure. Therefore, if a movie was a "box office blowout," then it sold out the ticket stand.


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