Every week, the Frankfurt Metropolis Cinestar cinema shows a “Sneak Preview” of a random upcoming English film. We attend every week, which means that over the course of the year, we get to see a good selection of everything Hollywood and Pinewood have to offer.
And, as Dove suggested, it might be fun to look back over the year of films and do a bit of stats. Sneak seems to be loaded with gritty thrillers, but how many are there, really? How many films go on so long that we miss the last train?
Here’s our first set of data: body count! Most films at Sneak (31 out of 49) don’t actually have more than 2 deaths, and 18 – around two-fifths – were death-free. The moving average is there, although it’s arguably not very useful, just because of how much the death-filled outliers like Hercules (at least 534 on-screen deaths!) affect the average.
More useful is the moving average for movie length. This year, the longest movies were loaded in the coldest months (all 5 of the shortest movies were shown during Summer Time, while of the 5 longest, only one was, in late October). This is not good when you have to catch the late-night trains and trams home!
Interestingly, a lot of films are almost exactly 2 hours long – whether Sneak just likes selecting 120 minute films or Hollywood deliberately tries to make 120 minute films would require more data.
So, how about those thrillers? Well, thrillers really are the most dominant genre, although comedy and action are close behind, and dramas and biopics are also well represented. Overall, not a bad mix of genres, although I’m sure the number of romcoms and horrors are down on previous years.
Here’s the genre breakdown by month (I know stacked bar charts are neither pretty, nor colour-blindness friendly – don’t worry, this is the only one in this blog post! German release dates tend to lag American ones by a few weeks, and so Oscar bait season began in January, although drama had another surge in September and October. Comedy seems to be very much a summer thing, while action movies were scattered throughout the year.
But where do the films come from? Well, surprisingly, original ideas and true stories still dominate – at Sneak, at least. 29 films came from these sources, while 21 were from pre-existing properties, and only 7 were actual remakes or sequels to movies (and one of those sequels was 22 Jump Street, the sequel that mocks the concept of sequels).
But don’t be fooled, Hollywood hasn’t become totally original. Here are the primary settings of the films we had this year. America has 25 of 50 – and that’s not including all the movies that featured American characters in other countries. The UK comes second with 5 – all British films too – and the rest of the world picks up what’s left.
A bit of miscellaneous data:
Remakes: Belgian>American (Loft > The Loft), French>American (Banlieue 13 > Brick Mansions), Canadian>Canadian (La grande séduction > The Grand Seduction)
Posthumous performances: at least 3 (Paul Walker in Brick Mansions, Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man, James Gandolfini in The Drop)
Liam Neesons: 3 (Non-Stop, Anchorman 2, A Walk Among the Tombstones)
James Marsdens: 3 (Anchorman 2, Walk of Shame, The Loft)
Lupita Nyong’os: 2 (12 Years a Slave, Non-Stop)
Keanu Reeveses (Keani?): 2 (47 Ronin, John Wick)
Christian Bales: 2 (American Hustle, Out of the Furnace)
Forest Whitakers: 2 (Out of the Furnace, Zulu)
Josh Brolins: 2 (Labor Day, Grauniads of the Galaxy)
Chris O’Dowds: 2 (Calvary, Cuban Fury)
Pierce Brosnans: 2 (The Long Way Down, Love Punch)
Dead dogs two
Dead fathers: 7 (including What We Did on Our Holiday)
So there you have it. Sneak in stats. Wooo.
Here’s the raw data. If you’re someone who’s very into that sort of thing, even just knowing the setting is a spoiler for at least one of these films.
|Date||Title||Based on…||Death Count||Length (mins)||Main setting||Genre|
|13/01/14||12 Years a Slave||True Story||7||134||USA||Biopic|
|27/01/14||Dallas Buyers Club||True Story||1||120||USA||Biopic|
|03/02/14||Saving Mr Banks||True Story||0||125||USA||Biopic|
|10/02/14||American Hustle||True Story||0||138||USA||Crime/Heist|
|17/02/14||Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit||Franchise||~20||105||Russia||Thriller|
|03/03/14||August: Osage County||Play||1||130||USA||Drama|
|17/03/14||The Long Way Down||Book||0||96||UK||Comedy|
|24/03/14||Out of the Furnace||Original concept||7||116||USA||Thriller|
|07/04/14||3 Days to Kill||Original concept||45||123||France||Action|
|28/04/14||Fruitvale Station||True Story||1||90||USA||Thriller|
|05/05/14||One Chance||True Story||0||103||UK||Biopic|
|19/05/14||Wolf Creek 2||Sequel||8||106||Australia||Horror|
|02/06/14||Cuban Fury||Original concept||0||98||UK||Comedy|
|09/06/14||Walk of Shame||Original concept||0||95||USA||Comedy|
|16/06/14||The Grand Seduction||Remake||0||113||Canada||Comedy|
|23/06/14||The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet||Book||0||105||USA||Comedy|
|30/06/14||The Signal||Original concept||0||97||Space||Thriller|
|07/07/14||Jersey Boys||True Story||1||134||USA||Musical|
|14/07/14||Begin Again (Can a Song Save Your Life?)||Original concept||0||105||USA||Romcom|
|21/07/14||22 Jump Street||Sequel||4||120||USA||Comedy|
|28/07/14||Lucy||Original concept||62||89||World trip||Action|
|04/08/14||Hector and the Search for Happiness||Book||0||120||World trip||Comedy|
|11/08/14||Into the Storm||Original concept||6||89||USA||Disaster|
|18/08/14||A Most Wanted Man||Book||0||122||Germany||Thriller|
|25/08/14||Guardians of the Galaxy||Comic book||~100||122||Space||Action|
|08/09/14||Million Dollar Arm||True Story||0||124||India||Biopic|
|15/09/14||Wish I Was Here||Original concept||1||106||USA||Drama|
|22/09/14||This is Where I Leave You||Original concept||1||103||USA||Drama|
|06/10/14||The Judge||Original concept||1||141||USA||Drama|
|13/10/14||The Love Punch||Original concept||0||94||France||Crime/Heist|
|20/10/14||What We Do In the Shadows||Original concept||4||86||New Zealand||Comedy|
|27/10/14||The Inbetweeners 2||Sequel||0||96||Australia||Comedy|
|03/11/14||Before I Go To Sleep||Book||1||92||UK||Thriller|
|10/11/14||Walk Among the Tombstones||Book||9||114||USA||Thriller|
|17/11/14||What We Did on Our Holiday||Original concept||1||95||UK||Comedy|
|24/11/14||John Wick||Original concept||84||101||USA||Action|
|01/12/14||The Drop||Original concept||2||106||USA||Thriller|
(Films marked “True Story” may be based on books or (in the case of Jersey Boys) a stage play. Death count figures derived from various websites and forums, from Wikipedia synopses, or sometimes just educated guessing. Run times are taken from IMDb. Genre and Setting are subjective, and some films straddle locations (eg. Million Dollar Arm, with roughly equal parts in India and the US) or genres (eg. What We Do in the Shadows, a horror comedy) – I picked the most interesting. Don’t rely on this data for anything serious!)