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Perfect Runtime for a Movie Is 92 Minutes, New Poll Claims

Perfect Runtime for a Movie Is 92 Minutes, New Poll Claims


  • Ideal movie length is 92 minutes, according to recent research with 2,000 Americans.
  • Despite audience preference for shorter films, most popular movies exceed two hours.
  • Long movie run times aim to make cinema outings feel like special events and provide value for money.

A new poll has discovered the ‘ideal’ runtime for a feature film in 2024. For a movie to class as a feature, it needs to preside between (roughly) 80 and 180 minutes long – although some film boards accept anything as short as 40 minutes as a feature film. Now, a new market research campaign, conducted by Talker Research, claims to have narrowed down the diverse range of movie run times to a perfect number.

After conducting an online survey with 2,000 Americans, the poll concluded that 92 minutes was the ‘perfect movie length.’ Out of the 2,000 participants, just 2% (40) believed that a film should last longer than two and a half hours (150 minutes). Shockingly, only 15% (300) agreed that films should be longer than 2 hours. The poll also asked the participants about their recent viewing habits.

‘In the past 60 days, the average respondent feels they’ve watched two movies that they felt were too long, with 23% having reluctantly sat through three or more.’


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As major studios aim to deliver epic storytelling with captivating character arcs, running times continue to expand, well over the two-hour mark.

Hilariously, the research outlined five movies which, by the standards of its participants, are the ‘perfect’ length. All five of the films clock in at a ‘perfect’ 92 minutes. The movies are:

  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  • Beetlejuice (1988)
  • Monsters Inc. (2001)
  • Toy Story 2 (1999)

Movies Are Generally Getting Longer, Not Shorter

Despite the research’s conclusion that ‘the average person wants to spend far less time at the movie theater going forward,’ modern movies are actually, on average, getting longer. In fact, nine out of ten of the most popular movies of all time (based on box-office figures) exceed the two-hour mark. But, if 92 minutes is the ideal runtime, why do films feel like they’re getting longer?

There are several answers to this question. The most prevalent and simple answer is that movies are longer to make going to the cinema feel like an event. Following the COVID pandemic, coupled with the drastic rise in online streaming, cinemas simply aren’t pulling in the same kind of numbers they once were. In a bid to combat this, going to the theaters are marketing the experience of watching a film on the big screen as an event, a tactic which is greatly helped by films boasting ‘epic’ run-times. Part of this boils down to value for money. If a movie ticket costs $12, regardless of what film you see, going to watch a longer movie like Dune: Part Two (167 minutes) feels like greater value for money than watching a short flick.


Dune 2’s Director Says Young People Want ‘Long Movies’

Younger audiences are more than willing to watch lengthier films like Oppenheimer.

This isn’t the only effect streaming has had on cinematic run times. With thousands of movies and TV shows available to watch at the push of a button, streaming services don’t have to worry about optimizing a movie’s runtime to maximize the number of screenings in a day. In his 2005 book, Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, author and screenwriter Syd Field suggested that, for decades, the ideal screenplay length was 128 pages, stating it as “an economic decision that has evolved over the years.”

As well as breaking down the average cost per minute of shooting a Hollywood movie, Field explained that “a two-hour movie has a definite advantage in the theaters simply because you can get in more viewings of the movie per day.”

Do you agree with the findings that 92 minutes is the perfect movie length?

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