It doesnt take a brain surgeon to realise just how successful Christopher Nolans Batman trilogy has been since it burst its way onto cinema screens back in 2005. His epic trilogy consists of not only some of the greatest superhero movies of all time, but individually and collectively they were among the most financially successful too. However, a new study suggests that despite its world wide critical acclaim, the newest addition to the DC canon is not the most successful Bat flicks ever to be made. No, that honor belongs to The Dark Knight, but shockingly The Dark Knight Rises isnt even the 2nd most successful that spot is occupied by none other than Tim Burtons 1989 opus starring Michael Keaton. Nolan's final Batman movie has now passed the $900 million mark worldwide, but if you examine additional statistics beyond simply money, it becomes apparent that other Batman films were actually more popular with cinema goers. In fact, when you look at the ticket sales for each film and not the amount of money made, Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman is way ahead of Batmans final outing against Bane. This surprising revelation comes courtesy of professional geek Brian Collins, who made the discovery while doing some digging over at Box Office Mojo, a movie stats website. He realised that he could compare The Dark Knight Rises to Burtons Batman by ticket sales alone and the results were quite shocking. Batman (1989) sold a sum total of 62,954,600 tickets (at a mega cheap value of $3.97) compared to The Dark Knight Rises which has so far sold 50,635,700 and an average ticket price of $8.07, domestically. If DKR was to be finish its cinematic run today we would be looking at a gap of around 10 million ticket sales between the two films a massive number even by todays standards. Perhaps then its time that we changed the parameters for what makes a film successful, and what deems a film to be the most successful of all time. James Camerons Avatar may be sitting pretty at the top of various lists in 2012 but if we were to allow for inflation then it would actually be Gone with the Wind topping the most successful box office lists and not the 3D extravaganza. Meanwhile, over at Marvel The Avengers outsold them all with a whopping 76 million tickets sold perhaps disproving Nolans claim that people do not want to go to the cinema and watch a film in 3D. What do you think? What matters more ticket sales or box office revenue? Have your say below.