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December 22, 2014

5 useless (yet interesting) film industry facts

Chevvy likes Christmas themed film industry factsIt’s becoming a bit of tradition that my last blog before Christmas is a collection of fun nuggets.  This year I sought out five film industry facts which I initially found interesting, but which I struggle to find any practical use for. In summary…

  • It’s a provable fact that Tyler Perry is excellent at attracting the ladies
  • The average running time of all British films 2003-13 was 98.4 minutes
  • In the past nine years British films have been getting short (2005 = 106 mins, 2013 = 95 mins).
  • Animations and documentaries are the shortest (87 mins & 89 mins)
  • In 1994 29% of the top films were shot in 2.35 ratio, by 2013 it was 79%
  • 21% of all jobs on UK films were given to people called David, Paul, John, Mark, James, Michael, Chris, Richard, Peter, Simon, Steve, Andrew, Tom, Ben, Nick, Martin or Tim.
  • Mac’s are twice as popular as PC’s among film professionals

1. Which films cause most disagreement between men and women?

Tyler PerryEarlier in the year I was studying the difference between how film critics and audience members rate films.  Building on that research I am able to generate a list of the films which had to highest difference between the ratings given by men and those given by women. It turns out that it’s a provable fact that Tyler Perry is excellent at attracting the ladies.

The films female users rated higher than male users

Of the 100 highest grossing films at the US box office of each year 1994-2013 (2,000 films in total), these films had the largest difference between the rating given by male and female users on IMDb.

#FilmYearMenWomen+ / -
1I Can Do Bad All by Myself20092.96.1-3.2
2Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas20133.16.0-2.9
3The Family That Preys20084.06.8-2.8
4Madea's Big Happy Family20113.36.1-2.8
5Madea's Family Reunion20064.06.5-2.5
6Madea Goes to Jail20093.35.8-2.5
7For Colored Girls20104.87.2-2.4
8Why Did I Get Married?20074.67.0-2.4
9Meet the Browns20083.15.4-2.3
10Diary of a Mad Black Woman20054.86.9-2.1

Bonus useless fact: All 10 of the above movies were distributed by Lionsgate.

The films male users rated higher than female users

Of the 100 highest grossing films at the US box office of each year 1994-2013 (2,000 films in total), these films had the largest difference between the rating given by male and female users on IMDb.

#FilmYearMenWomen+ / -
1Dumb & Dumber19947.46.50.9
2Eyes Wide Shut19997.46.70.7
3Across the Sea of Time19956.76.10.6
4Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan20067.46.80.6
5There's Something About Mary19987.26.60.6
6Observe and Report20095.95.30.6
7Semi-Pro20085.85.20.6
8Saving Private Ryan19988.68.10.5
9Sideways20047.77.20.5
10The 40-Year-Old Virgin20057.36.80.5

I have previously studied the films which had the highest gender disparity in UK cinema audiences during 2003-12.  The ‘most male’ films were United 93, V for Vendetta and the first Captain America film, whereas the ‘most female’ films were Penelope, Jane Eyre and Wild Child.

2. What aspect ratio are the most popular films?

By looking at the highest grossing films at the US box office between 1994 and 2013 (2,000 films in total) we can track the rise of the 2.35 aspect ratio. Aspect ratio of top grossing films

3. How long are British films?

Harry PotterAs someone who dislikes long, bloated movies, I was interested to see what the trend over time was for running time.  The very talented Stav over at Hollyquant.com has already crunched the numbers on Hollywood films (spoiler alert: they are for blockbusters but not overall) so I thought I’d focus on British films. I used data from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and the BFI, averaging the data when they disagreed on the running time. The average running time of all British films released between 2003-13 was 98.4 minutes. In the past decade British films were at their longest in 2005 (105.7 minutes) and have been getting shorter ever since (in 2013 it was 94.7 minutes). Average running time of British feature films Animations and documentaries are the genres with the shortest average running time (86.7 minutes and 89.4 minutes respectively). Average running time of British feature films by genre Bonus useless fact: IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes have the same running time for films 69.5% of their films. 21.5% were out by between 1 and 5 minutes and the remaining  9.1% were differed by more than 5 minutes.

4. What are the most common names in UK film?

This is particularly useless set of statistics. The most popular surname of people on UK films between 2013 and 2013 was Smith.  This matches the most popular name for the UK as a whole.  In fact the first surnames to outperform the UK average are Thomas and Lee.

Most popular surnames of crew on UK films 2003-13

SurnameIndustry RankAll UK RankPeopleCredits
Smith11115895
Jones22881001
Taylor3360666
Williams4457611
Brown5553536
Thomas6948412
Lee72547433
Wilson8845510
Evans9741417
Wright102039437
Johnson101139485
Harris122237422
Davis125437352
James142836366
Edwards153135400
Davies15635342
20.5% of all credits in UK films 2003-13 (across all departments) were given to people called David, Paul, John, Mark, James, Michael, Chris, Richard, Peter, Simon, Steve, Andrew, Tom, Ben, Nick, Martin or Tim. The first exclusively female first name is Sarah at number 27. Most popular first names of crew members credited on British feature films

 5. Do film professionals use Macs or PCs?

Apple logoThis year I have ran a number of surveys of the film industry.   Whenever people open my emails or fill in a survey I get small snippets of anonymous, useless information.  One such piece of information is what operating system the user is running. In the wider world, Windows makes up 89.9% of the market but in the film industry it’s just 24.1%. Operating systems used in the film industry

Epilogue on this year’s film industry facts

My main interest with this blog is to shine a light on previously unresearched areas of the film industry so although I’ve tarred today’s stats as “useless” they still fulfill my mission.  If you find any of these stats useful in any way, let me know.  I’d be happy to share the full data and the explore the topic further, if there’s a demand.

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2 Responses

  1. Dennis Toth December 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    I once had an animator explain to me why the average running time for animated movies was under 90 minutes. His theory was that anything over that would drive both the animator and the audience nuts. Just FYI.

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    […] previous Xmas pieces I’ve looked at the most common first names of UK film crew members (spoiler: David), the change in aspect ratio of Hollywood movies over time (29% 2.35:1 in 1994 to 79% in 2013) and […]

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