Americans Don't Want to Sit Through 2-Hour Movies

A new poll says 92 minutes is the magic number for movie length, but not everyone agrees
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2024 10:00 AM CDT
Americans Don't Want to Sit Through 2-Hour Movies
A new poll suggests that people like watching shorter movies, despite trends in Hollywood.   (Getty / Drazen Zigic)

Are Americans tired of sitting through endless movies? A new poll surveying 2,000 Americans from Talker Research suggests so. It found that:

  • Most respondents chose 92 minutes as the ideal movie length
  • 15% of respondents wanted to watch movies longer than 120 minutes
  • Only 2% liked movies over 150 minutes

The Guardian notes that this news is a bit of a head-scratcher when you compare it to Hollywood's top-grossing films. Three in the top 10 are more than three hours long (Avengers: Endgame, Avatar: The Way of Water, and Titanic), and only one film, The Lion King, just barely misses the two-hour mark, at 118 minutes. Britt Hayes at The Mary Sue isn't buying it, noting that Talker Research doesn't disclose its polling methods. She argues that of the top-grossing movies of 2023, the only one to hit the 92-minute mark was The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and she asks whether the "average" Americans responding watched movies often, or if they regularly visited the movie theater.

People offers some contradicting data from a 2022 Statista poll that also asked 2,000 people how long they like to sit through a film. Their respondents were more keen to sit through a two-hour film (48% in favor), while only 28% called a 90-minute film the best viewing experience. According to What to Watch, movies are getting longer whether we like it or not. The average running time of commercially successful films crept up to 141 minutes in 2022, while in 1981 they clocked in at 110 minutes. (Look out for these five breakout stars this summer.)

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