What types of films win the Palme d’Or at Cannes?

On Wednesday the 68th Cannes Film Festival will open, ushering in twelve days of films, drinks, parties, meetings, drinks, networking and drinks.

Last year I looked at the business side of the Cannes experience, measuring the number of people who attend each year and how many films are shown in the market. So this year I thought I would focus on the artistic side of Cannes – i.e. the films selected to be ‘In Competition’.

I looked at the 1,660 films which have been selected to be in the main competition at Cannes between 1939 and 2015.  In summary…

  • 84% of Palme d’Or shortlisted films are dramas (2010-15)
  • French films account for 53% of Cannes-shortlisted films (2010-15)
  • In the 1950s, only 8% of Cannes films …
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Are films with public funding better than those without?

I recently had a conversation with someone who works at a major film public funding body (who shall remain nameless) and they said “I am starting to doubt if the films we fund are actually any better than the ones we don’t”.

It sounded like a good topic to investigate so I agreed to do some research. This goes to the heart of why public funding for films exists – is it to train filmmakers, to foster creativity/art, to invest in an industry or for something else entirely?  Without knowing why we support films with public funding we can’t agree on an objective set of factors to measure success.

However, in order to investigate this topic today I am going to take a leap and define “better” …

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Film industry press: The most shared articles

Last week I looked at the volume of articles published by major film industry news publications.  This week I have built upon that information to uncover the film industry’s most shared, liked and tweeted articles. I studied all 239,720 articles published by Deadline, the Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire, Screen International and Variety between 2012 and 2014. In summary…

  • Variety has the largest presence on Facebook while the Hollywood Reporter is most shared on Twitter.
  • “Dies” is Variety’s 20th most frequently-used word in headlines, appearing in 2.5% of headlines.
  • In 2014, the Hollywood Reporter received an average of 97 tweets per article.
  • 7% of the Hollywood Reporter headlines included the word ‘exclusive’, compared with 3% at Indiewire.
  • Variety published seven of the top ten most tweeted articles of the film industry press in 2012-14.
  • The …
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Film industry press: Who publishes the most?

Today’s article started life in much the same way this blog did – a conversation in a pub with fellow film professionals. We were discussing the merits of different film industry press sites and my interest was piqued enough to want to have a look at the numbers. I took a look at articles published by five major film industry press sites between 2012 and 2014. In the coming weeks I will share more of what I found but let’s start with the basics – how many articles do they publish and who’s writing them.

Reporting on reporting

I should start by saying that it isn’t fair to compare different publications purely by the number of articles they publish.  The length, quality and depth …

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5 useless (yet interesting) film industry facts

It’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, …
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Who’s distributing the best films in the UK?

Following on from last week’s look at UK distribution by number of sites I thought I’d research the quality of the films for each distributor to find out who’s behind the best films in the UK. All of today’s data looks at UK cinema releases between January 2008 and August 2014, inclusive. In summary…

  • Films distributed by the BFI get the highest ratings by critics
  • The BFI distributed 87 films in UK cinemas between Jan 2008 and Aug 2014
  • UK distributor Park Circus was behind the films rated highest by IMDb users
Who the critics think are distributing the best films

By looking at the Metacritic score for each film released in the UK during my six and a half year period of study, I was able to …

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How good are movies which pass the Bechdel Test?

I should start this article with a personal note – I don’t like what I’ve found. I always try to approach data impartially and not look for certain results. Inevitably, this sometimes leads to results which challenge my beliefs or my opinions.  I am a firm believer that the representation of women on screen is often woefully poor and needs addressing.

Last week the guys at FiveThirtyEight published a great analysis of the box office performance of films which pass the Bechdel Test. My first thought was ‘damn’ as I have also been working on a similar study. They have been extremely thorough and it’s well worth reading their article. In order to avoid repeating their work I have shifted my research …

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Which script adaptations make the best films?

Today’s article is a mash-up of two topics I’ve previously covered. Last month, I published research into the source of Hollywood screenplays (i.e. script adaptations) and last week I investigated how audiences and critics rate films. So, it seemed only natural to put these two topics together and look at how critics and audiences rate films that come from different screenplay sources. I looked at the top 100 grossing films of each of the past 20 years (giving me 2,000 films to study) to calculate the average ratings given by IMDb users and the Metascore (i.e. film critics). In summary…

  • Screenplays based on true life events make the highest rated films
  • Films with original screenplays receive lower than average ratings
  • Critics and audiences …
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Do film critics and film audiences agree?

I’ve always wondered if film critics are biased towards certain types of movies, so I thought I would take a look at what the data can tell us. I looked that the 100 highest grossing films from each of the past 20 years, which gave me 2,000 films to study. I then cross referenced data from IMDb’s user votes, Rotten Tomatoes’ audience percentage, Metacritic’s Metascore and Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer. In summary…

  • Film critics and audiences do rate films differently
  • Film critics are tougher and give a broader range of scores
  • Film critics and audiences disagree most on horror, romantic comedies and thrillers.
  • Audiences and film critics gave the highest ratings to films that were distributed by Focus Features.
  • Film critics really do not like films …
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Do film professionals think that 3D is better than 2D?

This is the fifth of ten articles revealing the results of my survey of 1,235 film industry professionals. More details of the survey and my methodology can be found here and for any questions or clarification please contact me.

If you would like to read the full survey results right now then sign up for my email mailing list. I’ll send you the full 25 page PDF report entirely free. You’ll also get updates on my weekly blog articles on film data and statistics. I won’t send you any spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.  Just add your email to the subscription box at the top of this page and you’ll be sent a download link.

Key Findings – 3D versus …
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