What is the perfect length for a film?

What is the perfect length for a film?
What is the perfect length for a film?

In recent years, cinema fans have certainly noticed that (very) long films are becoming more and more common. We think of Oppenheimer (3h01), Killers of the Flower Moon (3h26) or Anatomy of a fall (2h31). Long films have always existed, of course. As Cleopatra (1963, 4:11 a.m.), Once upon a time in America (1984, 3h49) or even Dancing with the wolves (1990, 3:54). But today, films easily exceed two hours.

However, a survey sheds light on the ideal length of a film, and relatively short films seem to approach perfection. According to this study carried out among 2000 Americans, Monsters and Company And Beetlejuice would have a perfect duration.

The perfect film lasts 1h32

92 minutes. This is the ideal length for a film according to a survey carried out by TalkerResearch. 2000 Americans responded to this study and the verdict is undeniable: the perfect film must last 1h32. Only 2% of those surveyed are enthusiastic about the idea of ​​spending more than two and a half hours watching a film. Regarding footage that spans two hours (or more), 15% of survey respondents are fond of it.

In the past two months, most respondents said they had watched two films that they found too long. And that’s what’s interesting: the feeling. Because a rather short film can seem interminable while a longer film can pass at lightning speed if all the ingredients are there. It’s all a question of feeling and rhythm.

In addition, everything will depend on the genre of the film. A comedy lasting more than two hours would probably be a bit heavy, while a thriller or biopic lends itself more easily to two hours or more.

Despite the results of the survey TalkerResearch, the box office reality is very different. Indeed, the biggest hits are blockbusters that don’t look at their watch, like Avengers: Endgame (3h01), Avatar: The Way of Water (3h12), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2h28) or even Titanic (3h14). The last few weeks have been good Dune: Part Two (and its 2h46) which marked the world box office.

This gap between the survey responses and reality can be explained by the fact that spectators want to “get value for their money” when they go to the movies. While inflation is even taking its toll on cinemas, consumers perhaps want to “recover” the cost of a cinema ticket… Finally, spectators do not necessarily display the same commitment when they go to cinemas as they do. when they choose a film for their family evening. As for exhibitors, the shorter a film is, the more beneficial it is for them.

Finally, this question of “ideal duration” is very subjective and several elements must be taken into account. Like the genre, the circumstances, the pace… In your opinion, what is the perfect length for a film?

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