By The Numbers: The Length Of Feature Films


How Long is the average Hollywood movie? It all started when a friend of mine asked me this exact question. My first answer was just over an hour and a half, because most movies I see hit multiplexes seem to have a running length of around 90 or 100 minutes. But the real answer was much harder to come by.

In my research, I came across the IMDb Film-Length Project, which doesn’t provide the definitive answer I was looking for, but is still interesting. The project averages the top 50 rated films from each decade (500 titles in total), which gives us a good idea of the average length of the popular films from the last century. But the results are also likely skewed towards longer movies (not many of the throw away 90 minute popcorn films rank in the top 50 of any given decade). The graph above shows how movies have grown in length over the last 100 years. Click to enlarge.

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