Study: Longer Is Better… With Film Runtimes

Study Longer Is Better With Film Runtimes

Between “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at 160 minutes, “IT: Chapter Two” at 165 minutes and the upcoming “The Irishman” at 210 minutes, longer movies seem to be coming back into favour.

Now a new piece of analysis has gone up at Rotten Tomatoes which looks at their own critic review aggregation scores and cross-references them with the running times of the 1,431 movies that received wide theatrical releases since 2010. The film has to have played on over 500 screens and doesn’t include documentaries – only narrative features.

The result? Longer movies generally get better reviews. According to the results, the Tomatometer average of films under 100 minutes is just 46% with only 34% dubbed ‘Fresh’ and only 8.6% scoring a 90/100 or above. On the far side, films that clock in at 140 minutes or over had a Tomatometer average of 70% with 71% dubbed ‘Fresh’ and 16.4% scoring a 90/100 or above.

While that category had the most ‘Fresh’ films, it was those in the next one down – that run between 120-140 minutes – that rated above 90/100 the most with 16.7% of films doing so. They are also the most likely to snag awards nominations with almost 50% of the Best Picture nominees from this category, despite said category consisting of only 21% of the total number of films examined.

Interestingly only three films above the 140 minute have scored dismal reviews (below 20% on RT) – the last two “Transformers” films and the “Sex and the City” sequel. Check out the full report here.