Marvel Studios’ movies are known for breaking records of all kinds, but it turns out they were just awarded quite the unexpected and deadly honor. According to a recent study, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is said to have the highest on screen body count of any movie ever made. While there were definitely a few memorable deaths in the movie, none of which were overly violent, it is pretty shocking to hear that no other movie has ever had more deaths on screen than a movie that features a talking raccoon and a giant talking tree with a limited vocabulary.
The study was conducted by GoCompare and according to their findings Guardains of the Galaxy features an astonishing 83,871 deaths. The second closest movie isn’t even remotely close, which is Dracula Untold at a comparatively measly 5.6 thousand deaths. James Gunn seemed to be pretty comfortable with the record, as he took to his Facebook page to address it. Here is what he had to say.
“Wow. So according to this article, Guardians of the Galaxy is the “deadliest film of all time” with over 83k deaths on screen. For the record, the second “deadliest film of all time” is Dracula Untold at 5.6k – Return of the King is number four with 2.7k deaths on screen. That’s right – we have 78k more deaths than our closest rival. Um, hooray?”
The reason for the large number had to do with the 80,000 Nova Corps pilots who are seen dying on screen as they try to protect the city from the Dark Aster. That is where the vast majority of those deaths come from and what attributes to the very high number. In order to arrive at the number, GoCompare looked at any movie that had more than 50 on screen deaths. As for what counted as a death? Well, if a character was stabbed, shot, mentioned as killed and never returned, blown up, thrown off a cliff and never heard from again or anything of that sort. Animals only counted if they were voiced by or played by a human, for those who may have been wondering. Many were quick to point out that in Star Wars: A New Hope Alderaan was blown up by the Death Star, which would imply a whole lot more than 80,000 deaths, but James Gunn addressed that as well.
“P.S. For all of you writing about Alderan, etc, etc – it’s individual, ONSCREEN EXPIRATIONS, not implied deaths through seeing planets or cities exploding. You also see a lot of planets explode in the Collector’s museum. Stop trying to take this huge honor from me.”
There are many movies like Independence Day or other movies in the Star Wars universe like Star Wars: The Force Awakens that surely have more deaths within the movie, but as James Gunn notes, the study focused on individual deaths. The reason Guardians of the Galaxy qualifies is the almost odd loophole with the Nova Corps pilots. The ships are all technically piloted by individuals, even though they do join up to form a protective net at one point, which is what leads to so much death in a single moment in the movie.
It is also maybe worth noting that outside of the death, Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive hit at the box office. It set a record for an August opening in 2014, bringing in $94 million on its opening weekend. It went on to gross $773 million worldwide, which has led to a sequel that we are all eagerly awaiting next year. Will James Gunn be bringing us an equally shocking body count in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Probably not, but we are sure he has some surprises in store for us. Here is the top 10 deadliest movies of all time.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy – 83,871 Deaths
2. Dracula Untold – 5,687 Deaths
3. The SUm of All Fears – 2,922 Deaths
4. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – 2,798 Deaths
5. 300: Rise of an Empire – 2,234 Deaths
6. The Lord of the rings: The Two Towers – 1,741 Deaths
7. The Matrix Revolutions – 1,647 Deaths
8. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – 1,417 Deaths
9. Braveheart – 1,297 Deaths
10. The Avengers – 1,019
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
@JamesGunn What about Alderaan?
— Jacob Voss (@vossjz) October 4, 2016