International Moviegoers Name “Titanic” Best Movie of All Time!

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Hollywood Films Dominate Favorite Movies of International Audiences

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Even with growing competition from China and Bollywood, Hollywood films are the hands-down favorite of international audiences in the UK, Western Europe and Japan.

Almost all of the movies named by international movie fans as their all-time favorites in a new survey were American-made films, with “Titanic,” “Star Wars,” and “Harry Potter” ranked as the top three all-time favorites of international audiences.

The survey, conducted just after the Oscars, collected responses to a single, fill-in-the-blank question from more than 10,500 movie watchers spanning five different languages in the UK, Europe, Japan, and the U.S., which were then machine translated and analyzed in minutes by OdinText, a text analytics software platform.

“Even with growing competition from China and Bollywood, Hollywood films are the hands-down favorite of international audiences in the UK, Western Europe and Japan. It’s not even close,” said OdinText Managing Partner Tom H.C. Anderson.

Anderson noted that the data also suggest that American culture is still highly regarded overseas, in spite of the recent wave of international anti-American sentiment.

“Affection for American movies in the countries we surveyed is immense and unrivaled. These are people’s all-time favorite films. And since Hollywood films are a cultural export, it’s not much of a leap to infer that American culture is still held in pretty fond regard in these countries,” Anderson said.

Until now, global box office has been the primary measure of a film’s popularity internationally, but even adjusted for inflation, Anderson emphasized that “revenue is not a perfect proxy for films people cherish.”

Only four of the world’s top 10 highest grossing films after adjusting for inflation—“Gone with the Wind,” “Avatar,” “Star Wars,” and “Titanic”—also appeared in the top 10 global favorites identified in the survey, and not in the same order. Similarly, six of the top 10 international favorites were not among the top 10 highest grossing films.

In addition to an aggregated list of favorites, results were also broken out at the individual country level, which showed interesting similarities and differences.

“The top three favorites were very popular in every country, but some of the internationally highest-grossing films were not. ‘Avatar,’ for example, isn’t particularly well-loved in the UK and Japan,” Anderson said.

Notably, of all of the countries sampled in the survey, only movie fans in Japan named a significant number of its domestic films among their favorites.

“In spite of the rise in anti-globalization sentiment around the world and cultural protectionism, people overwhelmingly named Hollywood films as favorites compared to films from their own countries. Even among the French, with their rich film and cultural heritage, only one French title made the top 10 favorite movies,” Anderson said.

Detailed results of the survey, including charts and additional data, will be published on the OdinText blog here. OdinText Founder and Managing Partner Tom H.C. Anderson is also available to answer questions and for interviews.

OdinText is a patented SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform for natural language processing and advanced text analysis. Fortune 500 companies such as Disney and Shell Oil use OdinText to mine insights from complex, unstructured text data. The technology is available through the venture-backed Stamford, CT firm of the same name founded by CEO Tom H. C. Anderson, a recognized authority and pioneer in the field of text analytics with more than two decades of experience in market research. OdinText is the recipient of numerous awards for innovation from industry associations such as ESOMAR, CASRO, the ARF and the American Marketing Association.

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Tom H. C. Anderson
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