Movie Analysis part V


Continuing my analysis of movie trends, I prepared this chart showing the relative frequency and popularity of the different genres of movies. Click on the chart to enlarge it if you have trouble reading it. The purple bars show how many of that genre were in the data. The green show the average number of viewer ratings for movies in that genre. I normalized Titanic and LOTR:The Return of the King for reasons explained in earlier posts. I found the results surprising. Science Fiction/Fantasy is obviously the big box office winner.

Four hundred movies were included in the data, consisting primarily of those listed in (RT) each week as most popular in theaters and most popular DVDs and downloads over the last several months, but also included all the movies I have viewed from Netflix that I could retrieve from my viewing history and movies from lists of Oscars winners and nominees over the last ten years. I believe that the data is fairly representative of movies being made in recent years.

Assigning a genre to each movie is somewhat subjective, but perhaps less so than I thought it would be. Some movies were assigned more than one genre, but I tried to avoid that and pick just the one that was primary. If I didn’t know the genre I relied on RT’s description and genre designation. Here’s a brief description of how I defined each genre for purposes of this chart.

Drama: This is the default for fictional movies. Almost all movies have dramatic elements but I only assigned this to movies where the story line was the primary draw and it did not clearly fit the other genres. It includes most mysteries, thrillers, coming of age stories, etc. Example: The Descendants.
Animated: Movies that were entirely animated, including stop motion, but not including mix of animation and live action. Example: Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Comedy:  Includes dark comedies and farces. Example: Kenny.
Foreign: This is more of an attribute than a genre, so foreign films were usually given a separate genre such as drama, comedy, etc. Example: The Broken Circle Breakdown (which is also a musical).
Reality: Fictionalized movies purportedly based closely on real events or persons, such as biopics. Example: Lincoln.
Documentary:  Example: Code Black.
Musical: Some musicals were also reality-based, dramas, or other genres. Example: Annie.
Horror:  Example: Ouija.
Sci-fi/Fantasy:  I consider science fiction (e.g. Gravity) and fantasy (e.g. Harry Potter) different, but there is a large overlap (e.g. Interstellar) and most movie sites treat them as one genre.
Romance: There are romantic elements in most movies, but I restricted this to essentially pure love stories. Example: Amour.
Action: Movies where the main draw is explosions, car chases, fights, stunts, etc., not the story. Example: Hercules.
Kids: Movies aimed to attract children, including teens, or the whole family. There is considerable overlap with animated movies, but not all animated movies are kids’ movies and vice versa, so I gave them separate genres. Example: Frozen.