Guardians of The Galaxy – Marvel’s fun and friendly sci-fi epic with Chris Pratt and a talking racoon – is cinema at its all-time bloodiest. At least if you’re going by on-screen deaths.
According to a study of 653 Hollywood films by GoCompare, the 10th film in the MCU features a massive 83,871 fatalities – all thanks to the killing of 80,000 Nova Corps pilots when the Dark Aster crashes through their net of spaceships towards the end of the film.
And James Gunn – director of Guardians of the Galaxy and its yet-to-be-released sequel – is, err, thrilled at the news.
“But aren’t there films with heavily populated planets being destroyed? Shouldn’t Star Wars make the list for Alderaan?” you might be saying. As Gunn points out, this count is only on-screen deaths.
They're only counting ONSCREEN deaths, not seeing a planet explode. There are tons of movies where billions of people die, unseen. https://t.co/CivvMMdfr7— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 4, 2016
What’s more impressive about GOTG’s kill count is how much higher it from its nearest rival: 78,184 higher. That rival? 10 points if you said 2014’s vampire flick Dracula Untold, which scores 5,687 fatalities.
Here’s the top 10 deadliest Hollywood movies in full:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – 83,871 on-screen deaths
2. Dracula Untold (2014) – 5,687
3. The Sum of All fears (2002) – 2,922
4. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) – 2,798
5. 300: Rise of An Empire (2014) – 2,234
6. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – 1,741
7. The Matrix Revolutions (2003) – 1,647
8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – 1,417
9. Braveheart (1995) – 1,297
10. The Avengers (2012) – 1,019
Eagle-eyed people will notice that apart from Braveheart, the top ten were all released after 2000, which fits with the trend of movies getting deadlier as time goes on. (The rise in CGI cannon fodder probably upped the collateral damage as well.)
The study found that in 1940, there was just one film with 50 or more on-screen deaths, rising to four in 1950, 33 in 1960, 44 in 1970, 84 in 1980 and 119 in 1990. And four films from the top ten are from 2014.
Yes, a lot of the deaths aren’t necessarily bloody, up-close or even real (we’re looking at you, Matrix). But still, it’s very likely you’ll be seeing a lot more death on the big screen in years to come. The majority of them will probably be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when it comes out April 2017.