Mainly the US, as one would expect. As in the post What Are Movies About, I looked at the IMDB databases to find out in what countries movies get made. I took their list of titles and removed works marked as Adult, Documentary, News, Game, and TV. I also removed titles with less than 5 ratings votes, since there’s a lot of unwatched stuff in there, especially in recent years with the rise of cheap digital cameras.
That left me with 139,200 movies from 174 countries. The US accounts for 44,704 of them, about 1/3, while only 1 movie has ever been made in Guyana, Antigua, Faroe Islands, Maldives, Belize, Libya, Samoa, Macao, Suriname, Oman, Guadeloupe, Central African Republic, El Salvador, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Brunei, Fiji, Yemen, Liberia, Reunion, and Burma. Lichenstein and Vatican City don’t ever seem to have had a movie made in them. Here’s how the top countries look:
I hope you’ll pardon the log scale, but the range here is so wide that it’s the only way to fit everyone in. The top few here are the usual suspects – the leading cultural producers of the world. It’s odd that China is so far down, just below Iran, but Hong Kong makes up for them in cinematic industriousness. It’s small surprise that the US is so high; it started first, and has about 1/3 of the population of the developed world. Let’s derate by population to see who is really into films:
Finally, how has the number of movies made changed through the years?
The US movie industry really slumped in the mid-50s when television came in. The Russians got hammered when they lost their empire in the 90s. It’s a bit hard to see, but France actually made more movies than the US before WW I, when they became otherwise occupied. Ditto Germany and Japan in the 1940s.
Today about 4500 movies get made world-wide each year, about 12 a day. Here – Movie_titles_2012 – is a list of all the titles for 2012, sorted by the number of IMDB votes for each. At 1.5 hours each, you could just barely see them all if you spent every waking hour watching and only got 6 hours of sleep. That’s pretty infeasible, but it would be possible to see all of the 1600 US movies made each year. That’s about 4.5 a day, but that would be a severe test of sanity!