Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different topic around the film industry, focusing on the data and statistics which reveal what's going on.

Patterns among the most profitable movies budgeted $3m to $10m

Today’s article is another joint project with Bruce Nash from The Numbers.  In a series of research studies for the American Film Market, we looked at what it takes for films to break out at different ends of the indie budget spectrum. We’ve looked at the most profitable low-budget films (with budgets under $3 million), those costing $10 million and $20 million, and also movies made for between $20 million to $50 million.

Now we will fill in the gap by looking at the most profitable movies budgeted between $3 million and $10 million.

As before, we reviewed all the films in Nash Information Services’ database in that budget range released between 2000 and 2016. We then identified the sixty most profitable movies, after accounting for …

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How many non-English language films get a US theatrical release?

This week is part two of an investigation into the languages found in modern movies. These articles came from a reader’s question.  Tui asked “I was wondering how many Non-U.S. English-language narrative drama features get Theatrical North American distribution“.  In the end, the data took me on quite a journey, so I split what I found into two articles:

  • Last week – What languages are most commonly used in movies?
  • This week – How many non-English films get a US theatrical release?
  • What is a Non-English language film?

    This might sound like an obvious point, but before we can study ‘non-English language movies’, we need to be clear what we mean by that term. Many movies feature other languages whilst still having English as their primary language. For …

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    Which languages are most commonly used in movies?

    Tui got in touch to ask “I was wondering how many Non-U.S. English-language narrative drama features get Theatrical North American distribution“.

    It’s a great question and so I set about answering it. In the end, the data took me on quite a journey, so I’m splitting what I found into two articles:

  • This week – What languages are most commonly used in movies?
  • Next week – How many non-English language films get a US theatrical release?
  • This research looks at all movies released in North American cinemas for the fifteen years between 2003 and 2017 (inclusive), including re-releases and re-issues of older movies.

    How many languages are in modern movies?

    Films can have more than one language, and indeed, 31% of the films in my study did.  The …

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    Who are the most prolific people working in Hollywood?

    Last week, I looked at how the composition of crews on Hollywood movies has changed over the years.  This piece led a few people to ask questions on related topics, one of which I will address today.  John asked:”From your datasets can you see which people have worked the most often?”

    To answer the question, I looked at all credits received on the 200 highest-grossing movies at the US box office between 1997 and 2016 (i.e. 4,000 movies).  I then created league tables of the most frequently-credited people in a number of major roles.  Today’s research is only looking at movies, so work on other media is not being counted (i.e. TV shows).

    Most prolific directors in Hollywood

    Let’s start with the highest profile creative role …

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