‘Star Wars’ and ‘Furious 7’ Top Facebook’s List of 2015’s Most Popular Movies
The end of the year brings a surplus of ranked lists enumerating the best offerings of film in the past twelve months. Some come from huge samplings of voters, such as the annual Village Voice poll of American and international film critics, and others still reflect the tastes and preferences of one person or publication, such as the idiosyncratic rankings that John Waters publishes every December. But there’s an entirely different methodology to this process as well, one that eliminates the human error of subjectivity in art (because if there ever was a place for objectivity, it’s the realm of mass entertainment!) and reduces list-making to an ironclad and foolproof equation.
Using an algorithm calculating total mentions of individual film titles across the social media platform, Facebook has compiled a list of the ten most popular films on the site. By the very nature of this list, which makes no qualitative appraisals of the films whatsoever, the entries shouldn’t come as a surprise; simply think back on which movies were most incessantly chatted about online, and you’re there. So, yeah, obviously Star Wars: The Force Awakens sits high atop the number-one spot on this list, and gargantuan franchise earners Furious 7, Jurassic World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron follow it up. There’s really only one oddball here, present because it has maintained a sweeping popularity among a specific group of people. American Sniper weaseled onto the list’s number-five position, due mostly to its enduring adoration of real person Chris Kyle.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. Fast & Furious 7
3. Jurassic World
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
5. American Sniper
6. Straight Outta Compton
7. Fifty Shades of Grey
8. Mad Max: Fury Road
9. Magic Mike XXL
10. Pitch Perfect 2
So it isn’t the most divisive or buzzworthy list to surface this time of the year, but Facebook’s compilation still has value. Noting the back-to-back placement of Magic Mike XXL and Pitch Perfect 2, for instance, serves as a helpful reminder of the buying power of female audiences. It’s almost as if conceiving and producing films by and for women might not be the financial gamble executives believe it to be!