- The following content has been adapted from the Annual Top 50 Report. Any views expressed are those of the individual authors and not necessarily shared by the Signpost; responses and critical commentary are invited in the comments.
2017 has been a tumultuous and intriguing year, and with it came a swath of things which readers came to English Wikipedia to learn about. The topics are diverse, incorporating pop culture, politics, pre-eminent deaths and perennially popular pages. In the spirit of sharing knowledge, trivia, opinions, and ideas, we prepared the 50 most read articles of the year with hand-written commentary.
Without further ado, here is a special Top 50 Report for 2017. We aim to educate, engage, entertain, and enthrall. Enjoy.
Annual Top 50
|SC||1||Deaths in 2017
|37,387,010||The list of the lost reigns supreme this year, as it drew more viewers than any other article. In all, 2017 has not been the same celebrity apocalypse that its predecessor was, but many a famous name breathed their last this year. The demise of Charles Manson (#34) resonated most prominently this year, but it is the consistent stream of recent deaths which renders this list the site's most popular article of 2017. So, this is the way the list begins; not with a whimper, but with a bang.||Nov. 20 |
(after the death of #34 Charles Manson)
|SE||2||Donald Trump||29,644,764||Trump got about 29 million views last year in the three weeks after his election. His view count over 2016 topped 75 million. Despite the fact that numbers as a whole are down this year, he still couldn't top the list. Does this mean we're getting used to him? I mean it's not like he hasn't worked to keep us on our toes. Whether he was causing diplomatic incidents on his Twitter feed, engaging in bluster over the threat of nuclear conflict, equating neo-Nazi murderers with their anti-Nazi victims, endorsing an accused child molester, or passing a massively regressive tax bill, he played the shady carnival barker to perfection. And we followed along. For as long as we could be bothered.||Jan. 20 |
|SC||3||Elizabeth II||19,290,956||"Well versed in etiquette, extraordinarily nice, she's a killer queen"
Now, I am an Irishman, so we have a complicated relationship with the neighbours – however, I love the Queen, even more than her counterpart. As figureheads go, she is at the pinnacle, poised on her palatial perch over in The Big Smoke. Nobody does the wave like her, nobody does the reserved yet elegant greeting like her, nobody mends the wounds of multiple centuries like her. Ignore the republicans – we want her to stay. No, the Queen is sound, and has been deservedly propelled this high by twin facets; the general air of positivity surrounding her family (thanks, Miss Marple, #5), coupled with the release of The Crown. Long live the Queen, because next up to the plate is sure to be a car crash.
Though, on the flip side, she is an overrated, overtly canine-amourous loser who lost bigly, and draws low ratings. Sad!
|Dec. 10 |
(second season of The Crown released)
|SC||4||Game of Thrones (season 7)||18,792,746||Fire and Blood came to Westeros this season, whipping Wikipedia into a frenzy with more vigor than a Dothraki horde. The season was divisive, and many loyal ASOIAF fans (myself included), were disappointed by many of the plotlines adopted by Dan and Dave. However, the cinematography was phenomenal, and the set pieces more breathtaking than a boat trip to Dragonstone. How will it all conclude? I, for one, know nothing.||Aug. 28 |
(broadcast of last episode)
|A||5||Meghan Markle||16,944,130||Prince Harry has been in love since 2016, but in November 2017 the pair announced their engagement, and their intention to marry on May 19, 2018. There's just a teensy issue with that: it's the day of the FA Cup Final. Attendees may very well be caught sneaking a look at the progress of the match on their mobile phones while the royal couple says their vows, and Prince William is expected to attend both. Should be interesting to see how it turns out.||Nov. 27 |
|I||6||Game of Thrones||16,833,302||"There are Starks and there are Lannisters, and Targaryens, and of course there's some unknowns / Welcome to the crazy, wacky world of Game of Thrones."
The latest season (#4) got more attention, but the show itself, full of sex, blood, political intrigue, dragons, ice zombies, and horrible things happening to any character who draws the audience's sympathy, made the top six. HBO is currently working on the final six episodes, making the adaptation end before the source material; George R. R. Martin still owes us the last two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (the sixth one might come out in 2018), leading some dissers to label the latest seasons as fan fiction.
|Aug. 20 |
(broadcast of sixth episode)
|A||7||List of Bollywood films of 2017||16,391,427||India being the second largest English-speaking country in the world, it only makes sense that the annual list of releases in their largest film industry would make its way into the high-viewers list.||Apr. 8 |
|SC||8||United States||15,763,915||Oh, say can you see, by the Don's favorite whites, what so proudly was hailed, as the world's greatest nation?
Whose coal mines and big cars, and its military might, on the ropes is placing us, through the planetary heating.
All the death birds in the air, the Nazis marching in the square, give proof to the fight, that says the place is not fair.
Oh say can the divided come together and see, that the guns are the issue, not the man taking a knee!
|Jan. 20 |
|J||9||Bitcoin||15,026,561||TL;DR, for our dear readers who can't make heads or tails of this novelty: Bitcoin is as good as gold, shinier than lead, bubblier than tulips, held deep in the mines, and driving people nuts. Gold has enriched adventurers and bitcoin has held fools to ransom. You may dive in a pool of gold, but lose it all at war. Strangely, while you can still buy gold today and forget about it until your great-grandchildren cash it out, the much-hyped "future of money" has turned into the most speculative intangible asset of all time, while proving totally unsuitable as a means of payment. Still, over 2017 at least, bitcoin would have been a better investment than Tesla stock.||Dec. 8 |
(price "crashes" to $14,000)
|O||10||13 Reasons Why||14,934,202||The Netflix teen drama series, based on the novel Thirteen Reasons Why (don't know why they have different titles, but never mind) was released in one go on March 31. The series concerns a number of cassette tapes recorded by high school student Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) prior to her suicide and sent to friend Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette, pictured). The tapes detail the eponymous 13 reasons why she ended her life. Initial positive reception from critics, particularly praising Langford and Minnette's performances, gave way to alarm that the series was causing an increase in suicidal behavior from young viewers, with the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification creating a new rating, "RP18", specially for the program. A second season has been commissioned.||Apr. 10 |
|SC||11||Baahubali 2: The Conclusion||14,607,282||India played an integral role on English Wikipedia this year, accounting for a large proportion of users and resulting in entries like this one. The second film in the blockbuster series, Baahubali 2 was, and remains, the biggest show in India's equivalent of Tinseltown. Due to phenomenal box office performance, the film is the highest grossing film in India by a considerable margin, having collected almost thrice the box office of its closest competitor, Dangal. Prabhas, a Telugu star, notably not named Khan, who plays the titular hero (the one with strong arms in English), has become one of the most famous faces in the subcontinent due to the success of the release, which is curiously not based on Jainist lore.||Apr. 29 |
(after film release)
|I||12||It (2017 film)||14,539,123||Who would have guessed a horror flick as the year's top Hollywood movie on Wikipedia? Stephen King's doorstopper of a book, published in 1986 and previously subject of a 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry, received a film adaptation for its first half. It follows children in a small Maine city who face a shapeshifting abomination that usually manifests itself as a monster clown. Critics loved the film, audiences brought box office numbers comparable to superhero movies (nearly $700 million worldwide!), and expectations are high for It: Part II in 2019. That was certainly all Stephen King fans could ask for after The Dark Tower had a less than impressive adaptation.||Sep. 10 |
(after film release)
|O||13||Queen Victoria||14,164,451||Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901, has been the subject of not one but two media properties over the past year; the first being the ITV series Victoria, where she is played by Jenna Coleman, the first series of which was broadcast on PBS at the start of the year, with the second launching in the UK in late August – said second series will be broadcast in the US early 2018. The second was Victoria & Abdul, a movie released in September starring Judi Dench as Victoria, reprising the role she played twenty years earlier in Mrs Brown.||Jan. 16 |
(after the US premiere of Victoria)
|SC||14||List of highest-grossing Indian films||14,091,348||This list drew considerable attention among Wikipedians due to the volatile battle for monetary dominance between an omniscient, immortal, strong-armed warrior and a family of wrestling sisters. I always have found Bollywood to be weird, but then again it is not really targeted at me. Unlike Hollywood, where James Cameron has held top spot for two decades, Bollywood and Tollywood cinema receipts are growing year on year, producing a captivating chase between productions to claim the title of highest-grossing Indian film. This year, the battle transpired between Dangal and the aforementioned Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (#11). While the latter emerges victorious in domestic box office figures, a resurgent release of the Aamir Khan flick in China saw Dangal emerge as the ultimate victor on this list.||May 4 |
(#11 BB2 takes top spot for the first time)
|O||15||Gal Gadot||14,034,958||There are two ways for an actor to get onto this list. One is to get engaged to a member of the British royal family, and the other, which Gadot has chosen, is to be the main character in one of the biggest films of the year, as well as starring in another huge film. Gadot played Wonder Woman in both Wonder Woman (#20) and Justice League (#23). An appearance on Saturday Night Live October 7 also provided a boost in ratings above what would be normally expected for an appearance on that show.||June 4 |
(after release of #20 Wonder Woman)
|I||16||Logan (film)||14,030,384||Six superhero movies are on the Top 50, and the most viewed is both the first released and the least traditional. Roughly X-Men meets Unforgiven (with doses of Shane), the title character is now old and long removed from his days as Wolverine, but once he discovers that he has a daughter/clone, he is forced to embark on a road trip with her and a traumatized/senile Professor X. Violent, profane, thoughtful and quite touching, Logan got glowing reviews and became one of the most successful entries in the series (third worldwide, fourth in the US) in spite of higher content ratings. A fitting goodbye to Hugh Jackman (pictured) as Wolverine, and a good case as to why, in spite of corporate moves, the X-Men films still need to be separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.||Mar. 5 |
(after film release)
|SE||17||Riverdale (2017 TV series)||13,360,398||Someone made a live-action adaptation of Archie Comics. And it's a smash hit. I can't say I could have predicted that. And it's gone all supernatural apparently. Who knew Riverdale was actually Night Vale?||Jan. 27 |
(after initial broadcast)
|A||18||2017 in film||13,298,613||Similar to #7, but a more general category this time. With features such as The Last Jedi (#23) and Wonder Woman (#21), it's no wonder that people were interested.||June 12 |
|SO||19||Stranger Things||13,132,129||Before writing this blurb, all I knew about Stranger Things was how good the opening theme is. The Emmys seem to agree with that. So, in preparation for this, I started watching the series. I can definitely tell why my friends have insistently recommended this show, and why the general public has been enamored by it. The show stars an acclaimed cast headlined by Winona Ryder (pictured), and throughout 2017, the series received many awards and the release of a second season. Onto episode two for me.||Oct. 29 |
(after release of second season)
|SC||20||Wonder Woman (2017 film)||13,062,375||Gal Gadot portrays Diana Prince in the film of the summer, one which attracted significant attention amongst readers of Wikipedia, even despite the lack of clowning about. The fantastic and fascinating film is set during the First World War, and charts the emotional journey of the daughter of Zeus from naïve Amazon to ... a more powerful naïve Amazon. She really hit her prime in the third act as she defeated Ares, god of 'taches. In all seriousness however, the film has a great message for girls – vaguely charge blindly in machine-gun fire and murder a ton of conscripted German children because Captain Kirk told you to. The theme is great, though.||June 3 |
(after film release)
|O||21||Dwayne Johnson||12,444,987||Another actor in the list and, of the two ways to get into the list, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has (checks Buckingham Palace website) chosen the "appearing in major films" one. Which is a shame as I think he could have really bought something new to the House of Windsor. DTRJ started the year with an appearance in the mega-huge The Fate of the Furious, before appearing in the slightly smaller Baywatch film adaptation and, towards the end of the year, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Add to that some early views coming in from last year's Moana, a voiceover role at Mayweather–McGregor and an appearance on Saturday Night Live wherein he announced his candidacy for the United States presidential election, 2020, and it's been a very good year for Mr. Johnson.||May 21 |
(appearance on SNL season finale)
|SO||22||Star Wars: The Last Jedi||12,442,644||The Last Jedi is the 8th installment of the core Skywalker-centric Star Wars saga, 2nd installment in the Disney-era sequel trilogy, and the nth installment of the Star Wars franchise. The film's monster $220 million domestic opening weekend was the second largest of all time, only behind The Force Awakens. The divisive Internet firestorm that followed was second to none, however—at least as far as blockbuster film releases go. (I personally, liked the movie.) It wasn't terrific, but it wasn't terrible, and it can certainly be applauded for taking bold, new steps for the franchise's development. Only time will tell if the mixed and polarizing reaction to the odd and dark choices made in this film will fade into a more sparkling collective reception, similar to how another second Star Wars installment played out.||Dec. 15 |
(after film release)
|SE||23||Justice League (film)||12,048,341||It's an odd thing, the movie business. Only within its confines would a product that generates $637 million in income be considered a disappointment. But such is the merciless calculus of the industry that that might not even be enough to cover its costs. This is, it must be said, a fairly strange situation. To imagine Hollywood in thrall to superheroes 20 years ago, would have been to imagine it in thrall to DC. DC had all the most recognizable names – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman; they made the first ever superhero blockbuster, Superman: The Movie; they ignited the modern comic era with Batman, and they were owned by Warner Bros., one of the biggest movie studios on the planet. Marvel, on the other hand, was struggling to regain its footing after a disastrous 1990s, which had seen them lose the film rights to most of their properties. Bar Spider-Man and The Hulk, few of their characters were well known. But, thanks to a willingness to take creative risks with their properties, and hire indie-minded directors untested in the blockbuster arena, Marvel clawed its way to the top. When it was released in 1963, The Avengers was a blatant attempt to copy the Justice League. Now, Warner/DC have somehow managed to create the opposite. Marvel owns the zeitgeist, and DC finds themselves in the unenviable position of playing catch up. Badly.||Nov. 17 |
|J||24||Elon Musk||11,968,362||Back in 2012, I was rooting for Elon Musk to achieve his dream of making rocket flights as routine as airplane trips. He had just succeeded in sending a private spacecraft to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA, for 1/10th the price of state-controlled systems such as the European Automated Transfer Vehicle. My friends thought I was such a star-struck fanboy. I secretly planned to buy a Model S but was lacking in cash, so I decided to buy Tesla stock instead; the reasoning was that if Musk was ever able to deliver on his promises, the company's value would skyrocket and my stock would pay for the car. I was right! Alas I still don't drive a Tesla because I needed the money and sold the stock just a few weeks before it jumped 10-fold. Now Musk is getting ready to send a red car to the Red Planet, playing "Space Oddity", and with a towel in the glove box. My fellow netizens, if SpaceX ever goes public (according to Musk, "only after the Mars Colonial Transporter flies a regular schedule"), put all your money there. "Rocket Man" never disappoints. (Do not confuse with Lil' Rocket Man. Sad!)||June 2 |
(quits Trump's councils, expresses concern for Tesla factories)
|SC||25||11,851,106||"People waste their time researching a site that amounts to little more than a waste of time. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?" – Alanis Morissette
Vapid, empty, narcissistic, and pointless are apt terms for the social media monolith, founded in a dubious turn of events. I don't use the platform, because I get my daily dose of fake news, Candy Crush Saga and cat photos the old fashioned way – Myspace. I could use this column to reference the fact that Facebook is partially responsible for the rise of our current fake news epidemic, and Blue Whale, just off the chart at #53, and is ergo a societal scourge. I could discuss that time it hosted live torture footage. I could point to a series of signs that indicate that the site is dwindling, diminishing and disappearing like a dodo. But I won't. Get one of your thousand "friends" to do it instead.
Overall – 7.8/10, not enough ARBCOM controversies.
|Feb. 5 |
(did something happen?)
|SC||26||Cristiano Ronaldo||11,640,221||I would like to preface the following claim by reminding all readers that we live in a world in which atrocities are committed daily – however, this is unquestionably the worst abomination known to man. Nonetheless, the Portuguese player had a very successful year, claiming his fifth Ballon d'Or and further bolstering his claim to be the greatest football (not soccer) player on the planet, even if a certain Argentinian may not concur with this claim. However, Irina Shayk clearly thinks that he lacks the physical acumen of Bradley Cooper, so there may be a sting in the small tail.||June 3 |
(scores in the Champions League Final)
|I||27||Get Out (film)||11,618,096||It was a good year to be scared in the theater, with film reporters even writing articles such as "Can horror movies save Hollywood?". In his directorial debut, comedian Jordan Peele (pictured) was inspired by the awkwardness of meeting his Caucasian in-laws to create the story of a Black man who finds out his girlfriend's family has some weird hobbies related to racial differences. Not only was Get Out a critical and commercial success, but it is starting to get some recognition from awards and "best of" lists, so who knows if Oscar contention comes up next.||Feb. 24 |
|O||28||India||11,571,438||India is the country with the second largest English-speaking population, giving it a fairly consistent number of views per day throughout the year. Big stories in India this year to make it into the Top 25 included, but were by no means limited to, the March 19 appointment of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the July 1 introduction of a Goods and Services Tax and the August 28 rape conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, as well as a number of films, most notably Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (#11).||Aug. 15 |
(70th independence day)
|SC||29||Millennials||11,462,874||Ah yes; them malignant vermin who are attempting to maliciously silence us with their PC SJW cuckness. They sit there, with their damn cappufrappulatticinos and gluten free artisan sourdoughs. They wouldn't know hard labor if it hit them in the head, and they live their lives surrounded in more bubble wrap than their new iPhone X. They drop $20 on a kale smoothie that was blessed by a rabbit rabbi, and then moan about income inequality. Daydreamers droning on about dreamers, the lot of them. They are ruining America (#8) with their social values and etiquette and f**king handknitted berets. Everytime a good, decent, hardworking racist Nazi Confederate-supporting Caucasian male succeeds, it is a damn blizzard with these snowflakes swirling around. Don't worry; once he develops a semblance of aptitude and intelligence, Drumpf (#2) will nail the lot of 'em.||May 12 |
(Millennials continue to be terrible – not counting a fake peak on Jan. 31)
|J||30||Barack Obama||11,421,965||Politics of the United States are fascinating to behold for uninvolved peasants such as myself living in a neutral country. For the gluttonous among us, 2017 was quite a treat. Obama / Trump: never in a Wikipedian's lifetime had I witnessed such a contrast; in words, in deeds, in character and above all in the flabbergasting misunderstanding between their cohorts of supporters. Cartoonist-turned-pundit Scott Adams nailed it when he framed the situation as "two movies playing on one screen"; both camps watch the same reality unfold, but they see polar opposite versions of the world depending on the filters they wear. To a Democratic voter, Obama gave hope to forgotten Americans, and saved the world from the Great Recession. To a MAGA supporter, Obama was a mere community organizer, "all talk, no action" like most politicians. Nevertheless, there seems to be one element of Obama's legacy upon which everybody agrees: How the f*** did this guy earn a Nobel Peace Prize???||Jan. 20 |
(inauguration of Donald Trump)
|SE||31||YouTube||11,322,747||Used to be when a website appeared on this list, it was due to people accidentally clicking on the Wikipedia page instead of the page itself. That's likely still true, but websites have appeared less and less frequently on the list as the years have gone by, possibly because the shift to smart phones and tablets has meant most people find the site they're looking for at a touch, rather than a search. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of reasons for this one to be here. For starters, there's the "adpocalypse", when in a brilliant piece of old media oppo, The Wall Street Journal (owned by eternal YouTube loather, Rupert Murdoch) managed to spook several of its advertisers away from the site, for fear of their products being linked to extremist content. YouTube rushed to solve the problem but, as usual, its solution involved bots and algorithms, leaving content creators wondering if anything more controversial than Peppa Pig would be left monetized. Then there's the faulty autofill results, which completed the phrase "how to have" with such gems as "sex in school". Or the two (so far) stunts by YouTubers that have required emergency intervention; one fatal (a book doesn't block a bullet from a Desert Eagle, see), one, astoundingly, not (if you stick your head in cement and then in a microwave, don't assume a hose will let you breathe, as cement expands when it gets hot).||May 19 |
(probably delayed reaction to the adpocalypse)
|A||32||O. J. Simpson||11,301,016||In July 2017, it was announced the world's most famous football player-turned-actor-turned-accused murderer-turned-robber would soon be released on parole, and he was on October 1. Wonder how his family feels about it.||July 20 |
|SO||33||Conor McGregor||11,265,283||The Notorious Conor McGregor talked a lot of trash prior to his much hyped bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (#40). He put in some work in the early rounds, and although he ultimately may have lost "The Money Fight" to the now 50–0 Mayweather, the real takeaway here is that the Irishman bested Mayweather in terms of Wikipedia page views. And isn't that what really matters?||Aug. 27 |
(loses to #40 Floyd Mayweather Jr.)
|SC||34||Charles Manson||11,131,106||One of the most heinous and notorious criminals of living memory, Manson finally descended back to the hellish quarters from whence he came, and positively no one mourned. The most effective cult leader not named Pepe or L. Ron, Manson was behind an event of unprecedented and unparalleled brutality in which, among others, a pregnant Sharon Tate met her demise. If we are to go by the swastika emblazoned on his forehead, prison never softened his beliefs (even if they became socially acceptable stateside). Manson, an undeniably captivating figure, died in November, attracting significant Wikipedia attention. The world shirked from its shoulders a monster. Expect no eulogy here – goodbye and good riddance to you, sir. History obliterates, in every picture it paints, it will paint you and all your mistakes.||Nov. 20 |
(day after his death)
|SC||35||Ed Sheeran||11,010,941||Chaos theory. It is the only logical explanation for why, on a list populated by sinister swine and degrading deplorables, it is this entry that inspires the most rage. It is this entry which makes my blood truly boil. It is this entry that makes me wonder about deities, death and our place in the grand tapestry of life. I desperately want to curse, to toss a volley of explicit expletives towards ugly Prince Harry. Yet I must persevere, with a patience that Buddhist monks are envious of. Mercury has left orbit, and there is no life on Mars, so we are left with this nonsense. Ed Sheeran has been inescapable this year. He has been so ubiquitous on television and radio that I shudder at hearing his name. The wind whispers in the leaves, and I hear Ed Sheeran. I close my eyes, and his cheesy grin invades my dreams. I journey to Westeros, only for him to relentlessly hunt me down. He has one good song – one. He, coupled with SNL, is the worst thing to happen to Ireland since the Famine. So, you alcoholic, shape-obsessed, inexplicably popular, irritating, illiterate child, take your Ladybird Book of Rhymes, and your poxy guitar, and run back to your castle. While I'm thinking about it, you can stay there so long as it is out of earshot. That'd be perfect, mate.||July 12 |
(appears in a Game of Thrones episode)
|J||36||Melania Trump||10,788,288||Once upon a time, First Ladies were tall and stylish, educated and graceful. Once upon a time, the press gushed over their impeccable flair and couture dresses. Once upon a time, the world shed discreet tears over their husbands' love affairs. Once upon a time, having a foreign accent was considered charming, and making speeches courageous. Not for Melania! Having committed the cardinal sin of marrying The Donald (#2), she is eternally condemned to endure the kind of slanderous portrait that Vanity Fair editors saw fit to print. Sad!||Jan. 21 |
(day after inauguration)
|SE||37||Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon||10,758,796||I haven't watched The Crown, so I can't really comment on the version of Princess Margaret that is drawing viewers to this site. But it is not surprising that, in a list dominated by entertainment, she is the only non-reigning royal to get this much attention. More than any other royal, Margaret's place in history has been determined by her love life, which often resembled a chaotically plotted soap opera. At 22, she was proposed to by Peter Townsend, a divorced father of two 16 years her senior. She assented, but the government did not, and she was forced to reject him. Seven years later, she married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, a vindictive serial philanderer whose affairs became the stuff of legend. Reportedly, he would play little games with her like leaving notes in her books titled, "Things I hate about you". Even so, she remained married to him for 18 years. But when she herself had an affair with a man 17 years her junior, the press turned on her like a pack of wolves. Because, you know, logic. She finally divorced Jones in 1978. He remarried six months later; she never married again.||Dec. 10 |
(second season of The Crown released)
|I||38||Split (2016 American film)||10,483,770||I'm not a horror fan, but I saw all the scary movies in this report. Go figure. The last of them is Split, where director M. Night Shyamalan, who after burning all the cred he got from The Sixth Sense with lots of duds, finally has a smash hit again. James McAvoy (pictured) stars as a guy with 23 different personalities who kidnaps and imprisons three teenage girls while unleashing a 24th, super-human personality. And in the end Bruce Willis appears to reveal Split as a disguised sequel to Shyamalan's Unbreakable! McAvoy and Willis will face off in 2019's Glass.||Jan. 21 |
(after film release)
|SC||39||Thor: Ragnarok||10,443,757||The third Norse installment of the MCU is also far and away the most captivating, in this humble cinephile's opinion. The enigmatic Chris Hemsworth helms this comedic tour de force, and the eponymous hero, hammerless, is forced to overcome both Hela and Hulk. The resultant picture, directed by Taika Waititi, is certainly worthy to wield the power of Thor, even if the comedy is overbearing and predictable. (Des and Troy – really, Dredd? You're better than this, Éomer.) The superhero kerfuffle was the most engrossing on the encyclopedia, topping its two fellow franchise releases at #43 and #50. All will converge as combatants in a incoherent war, coming soon.||Nov. 5 |
(after film release)
|A||40||Floyd Mayweather Jr.||10,432,043||As plenty of people are fascinated by two dudes in a ring beating the crap out of each other, the two dudes will be only too happy to oblige, especially when large sums of money (i.e. 100 million dollars) are involved. This is what happened in August, when an extremely over-publicized boxing match between Mayweather and Conor McGregor (#33) took place, resulting in Mayweather winning. Probably the most-anticipated boxing event of the year, but it was nothing special, I guess. Just hyped.||Aug. 27 |
(beats #33 Conor McGregor)
|SC||41||Pablo Escobar||10,422,263||We can thank Netflix for this one, as the rampant success of Narcos has driven a massive upsurge in interest in the Colombian kingpin. The exploits of The King of Cocaine are being thoroughly explored by enthusiastic encyclopedia perusers, desperate to learn about the exploits of the Medellín Cartel (which Pablo led), the Cali Cartel (subject of the latest season of Narcos ), et al. Pablo amassed a fortune in the realm of $30 billion through rendering vulnerable people into addicts – a strategy deployed to more potent effect by Mr. Zuckerberg (#25). An anti-hero of sorts, many viewed the cartel leader as a Robin Hood figure due to his efforts at wealth redistribution. However, the blood he shed began an endless cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants, one of which (spoiler) claimed his own life in 1993.||Sep. 10 |
(third season of Narcos)
|O||42||World War II||10,347,358||The Second World War is the sort of topic that attracts constant interest, gaining an average of around 30,000 views a day, adding up to a place in the Top 50. Particular interest peaks can be linked to Victory Day, Remembrance Day/Veterans Day and the late-July release of Dunkirk (#47).||May 9 |
|SO||43||Spider-Man: Homecoming||10,289,999||The sixth film adaptation of the beloved wall-crawler served as the character's debut film in the MCU. Glowing reviews followed the film's release, with many applauding Tom Holland's performance as the title character, as well as crediting Michael Keaton's Vulture as being one of the stronger and more grounded villains in the MCU. Admittedly, that isn't saying much ... but as a huge fan of comic books, superheroes, and especially Spider-Man, this was one of the stronger entries in the MCU, and rivals the first two Raimi films in terms of quality. The film also serves as one of the best teen comedy movies around. And yeah, it made some money too.||July 7 |
|I||44||Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||10,217,057||While my country stopped being a monarchy a century before I was born, the British still have a royal family, which drives enough attention for five entries, even past (#13, #37) and future (#5) ones. The last is the prince consort of Queen Elizabeth (#3), who was the subject of an announcement in May – some overtly eager papers published obituaries, but Philip was just retiring from public duty (the man is 96, after all). And of course, he's also in The Crown, portrayed by Matt Smith (who was once in another revered British institution).||May 4 |
(retirement from public duties, citing health concerns)
|A||45||Star Wars||10,196,172||You know what this is and why it is here, so here is an entry for Chester Bennington (now #52), who it replaced. Gotta restore balance by subsuming him into the Force.
On July 20, 2017, the lead singer for Linkin Park was found dead in his home after committing suicide, triggering an outpouring of grief from fans around the globe. He had been suffering from depression following the death of his close friend Chris Cornell (#56 and the lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave) in May, which only made it more tragic; the bands had overlapping fan bases. One death like this is bad enough, but two within three months is even worse.
|Dec. 17 |
(after release of The Last Jedi (#22))
|I||46||Ariana Grande||10,100,281||Pop singer Ariana Grande (who ironically, has a surname meaning "big" but is a really short woman) had a successful tour, but not a strong presence in the charts in 2017 – while "Side to Side" held on from last year, all her other singles underperformed, even the cover of "Beauty and the Beast" with John Legend, in spite of the remake it was recorded for being the year's highest-grossing movie (if our #23 doesn't surpass it). So why all the views? Unfortunately, it's a tragic reason; after her Manchester concert ended, an Islamic lunatic blew himself up, killing 22 and injuring over 500. Ms. Grande subsequently returned to the city with other artists to perform a benefit concert, One Love Manchester.||May 23 |
(tweets "broken" after the Manchester Arena bombing)
|SC||47||Dunkirk (2017 film)||9,987,866||There is no justice in the world. If there was, this magnificent marvel, this cinematic masterpiece, would be considerably higher than #47. The film adapts Operation Dynamo for the silver screen, and the result, courtesy of the sublime directorial talents of a Mr. Nolan, is a heart-pounding, pulsating, and poignant picture. Nolan, backed by Warner Bros., used the film to help revive the flailing 70 mm format. Having seen the film in a 70-mm projection, I can understand why. Despite the lack of dialogue, it is tempestuously tense at all times, and even incorporates the trademark cryptic complexity of a Nolan film through its segmentation of the film between the ground force, the civilian-orchestrated evacuation crew, and the air corps. Do yourself a favour, procure the biggest screen you can, revel in Hans Zimmer's superb score and witness cinema, an inherently visual medium, at its finest. Be transfixed; be immersed; be absorbed.||July 23 |
(after film release)
|O||48||Adolf Hitler||9,872,486||As with the world war he started (#42), the dictator Adolf Hitler is the sort of figure who consistently attracts interest. Except for the significant view count on his birth date, April 20, the general view count was roughly 25,000 a day; which is consistent with previous years.||Apr. 20 |
|SO||49||9,829,170||Google is the Internet's most popular website and search engine – point blank. Testifying on Capitol Hill, the controversial "Google memo" from back in August, and the company's release of a new phone are all examples of things that kept
||Aug. 2 |
(did something happen?)
|SE||50||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||9,771,127||The first one was an absolute blast, reinvigorating the space opera genre with a glorious hot pink dollop of knowing '70s kitsch. This one was still good, but lacked a certain oomph. It was basically the series treading water until Infinity War comes out next year. Still, Kurt Russell transforming himself into David Hasselhoff has to be the single greatest shot of Gen-X nostalgia in film history, and Pom Klementieff (pictured) is officially adorkable.||May 7 |
(after film release)
Round Table Discussion
- 1. Which entry in the Top 50 struck you the most?
- For me personally, it was the prominence of the Queen. She ranks at #3 on the list, which is phenomenal when you consider the fame and ubiquity of many of the entries which fall below her. As well as being testament to the terrific power of Netflix, I think that the continued strong performance should act to dispel the myth that no one cares about the monarchy. It is also a sign that many readers don't journey to Wikipedia for negative news, but rather come for knowledge. This is a surefire sign for me that the encyclopedia, despite often carrying a tone that is somewhat negative (just look at the entries above), is succeeding in its mission to inform, a point that is bolstered by the sheer quality of the Queen's article (it is a Featured Article after all). Provides me with hope, reassurance that the time of Wikipedians is unwasted, and belief that the mission of Jimmy Wales is still being fulfilled. Stormy clouds (talk)
- It's interesting to see which media properties hit the top. While it was pretty clear the most popular show would probably be Game of Thrones, I certainly wouldn't have predicted at the start of the year that the second most popular show would be 13 Reasons Why, or that the most popular film would be Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, a show and film that, had I not been working on the weekly lists, I doubt would have particularly entered my sphere of knowledge. OZOO (t) (c)
- Along with something that was mentioned once, that people somehow seek the subjects of history-based television instead of the shows themselves (the Queen, Pablo Escobar – even if the latest season of Narcos wasn't about him!), and as I mentioned in the list, the top Hollywood movie being It, I was surprised by the high views on Millennials, which averaged 30,000 daily. It certainly owes to all the negative conotation and scapegoating garnered by this generation, which apparently I'm part of (though I prefer the previous name, "Generation Y", as me and my contemporaries are frequently frustrated and asking "why?"; and don't know if only because I'm getting old, but what I see from Generation Z makes me feel the next ones are worse). igordebraga ≠
- This list isn't particularly different from last year's, allowing for the fact that 2016 was a US election year. But the appearance of millennials, as noted by Igor, is striking. I think it can be tied to the political theme of the year, since politics in the last two years or so have divided largely along generational lines, with the young tending towards progressive populism and the old tending towards right wing populism. Serendipodous 01:44, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
- 2. Which entry frustrated you to the greatest degree?
- I feel like this should be explicable from my authorial stance on the singer, but it is absolutely Ed Sheeran. It may speak a lot to my own temperament and personality that, in a year riddled with death and rife with disappointment, it is a somewhat innocent and harmless musician who arouses such virulent venom in me, yet here we are. In the past, political turmoil and conflict has produced some great art, from Guernica to the wonder of Woodstock. The fact that this is the most popular music of the day, with its simplistic rhymes and aimless, ambling messages, is enraging to me, particularly given his omnipresence. After beginning with optimism, seeing him pop up in a place that he should not be again was frustrating, and sapped me of all that accumulated positivity. But hey, I am just thinking out loud. Stormy clouds (talk)
- To me, what frustrates me marginally is the seeming lack of political interest from Wikipedia users. While President Trump, the First Lady and former President Obama get in, they are the only political figures, with the electoral trials of President Macron, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister May, and the downfall of Mr. Mugabe not attracting lasting interest. Not even India, the main contributor to the list aside from the US, is able to get a politician into it. OZOO (t) (c)
- Out of all the people who died this year, the only one that entered the Top 50 was a madman that led a murderous cult - aside from the singer I never liked we indirectly included. Specially as the one famous death that really struck me, Chris Cornell (who even was indirectly responsible for the death of his friend Chester), deserved better than #56, directly below The Fate of the Furious. igordebraga ≠ (At last count, Albert Einstein snuck in between them. — JFG talk)
- Having curated this list for nearly four years now, what has frustrated me since day one is that, having been offered the single greatest source of free knowledge in world history, people tend to use it to seek out information they could easily obtain elsewhere- film release dates and reviews, TV times, celeb bios. It's certainly better than the early years, when people used Wikipedia primarily to look up "naughty" words, but still, it raises the question, are we really helping people? Serendipodous 01:44, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
- 3. Many of the entries in the report share similarities and recurrent themes, with movies and television proving especially prominent. What did you make of these developments this year?
- It speaks to the power that entertainment now holds over us, in my view. I don't subscribe to the idea of the Golden Age of Television, especially given that, as a keen observer of all of the television series listed here, I was not overtly enamored by any of them in this year. On the film size, it is not particularly surprising to see so many appear with such prominence. The popularity of super-hero flicks and Star Wars amongst those who peruse the encyclopedia speaks volumes regarding the demographics of Wikipedia (even if the best one missed out). It is also of note that many of the best films released theatrically in my locality in 2017, at least in my view, fail to make an appearance in lieu of derivative nonsense. However, as Bob Dylan foretold, in his prescience and pre-eminence, the times are a-changin', and this is evident from the performance of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Its power is indicative of an integral and irreversibly culture shift on the internet, and I find this development far more intriguing than the continued adventures of Thor, Diana Prince et al. Stormy clouds (talk)
- Netflix's shows should not be counted as "TV", they are webcasts, and should be treated as such. Split is higher than I expected, and I certainly didn't expect the three Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to be lower than the two from the DC Extended Universe. OZOO (t) (c)
- The news are so upsetting that it's no surprise people are resorting to escapism, even if with cultural products regarding darker themes - 2017's list has three horror movies, entries related to three Netflix series with heavier subjects (teen suicide! monsters in a small town! Colombian drug dealers!), and the only world that's worst than ours, the one of Game of Thrones. Even if I'm not a big television guy, there's no doubt the medium - although Netflix is a more grey area - is attracting big creators and actors, and while it might not to be a New Hollywood situation, studios certainly a concern to make better products and take people away from their homes (after all, many Wikipedia visits might be people wanting to know if the movie's response is positive!), no matter if the budget is low - the aforementioned horror films - or based on a property that makes it automatically profitable - the only movie in the list critics didn't really like was Justice League, which reviewers still pointed out was better than the two DC offerings from last year. igordebraga ≠
- I've always been puzzled by which movies appear on this list; there never seems any rhyme or reason. Box office? Yes, most on the list were big hits, but the biggest hit of the year, Beauty and the Beast, is nowhere to be found. Critical acclaim? That certainly could explain Get Out and Logan, but not Split. Controversy? Then where was Ghost in the Shell or Death Note? Looking for a rationale is like looking for a pattern in the prime numbers. You think you see it and then it just slips away. Serendipodous 01:44, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
- 4. What entries do you anticipate making their way onto the list in 2018?
- Given the popularity of pop culture amongst purveyors of Wikipedia, I imagine that Avengers: Infinity War will reign supreme, alongside what ever else the magicians have to offer for us. Politics will also play a prevalent role, as ever, with the Don likely to continue his reign near the pinnacle of people's minds, in spite of the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns. Sadly, death will account for many a spot, especially as some legends reach their inevitable end and depart. On a more positive note, the football aficionado in me relishes the return of the World Cup, and is hoping against hope for a recurrence of the splendor that was '05, and Super Mo will take the spot held in this list by Cristiano Ronaldo. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened. Stormy clouds (talk)
- I anticipate Deaths in 2018 topping the list, and probably President Trump holding onto second. Probably there will be an assortment of films, TV, and webcasts promoting themselves, and hopefully their subjects, into the list. In a World Cup year, I would expect to see an assortment of soccer stars, although my colleague Mr. clouds is incorrect in his predictions of a 2005 recreation, as it is clearly going to be Raheem Sterling's year. Finally, there will doubtlessly be a number of names taken from the Deaths in 2018 longlist, although this is not the time to predict who the grisly reaper will be mowing. OZOO (t) (c)
- Superhero movies, even if there are way too many next year (Aquaman on the DC side and eight Marvels - three MCU, three X-Men, two Spider-Man) for all to get into the list. Even if the United States are not going to the World Cup, the rest of the world cares enough about football to allow for big views (here's hoping Neymar doesn't get broken like last time!). And of course, the top two entries for two years running - the ones we revere dying, and The Donald doing something stupid and\or controversial. igordebraga ≠
- Probably a similar spread as this year. Star Wars will have the spinoff film Solo to cover for The Last Jedi, and I doubt people will lose their fascination with death, politics, or sports anytime soon. The Winter Olympics should feature, and so will some of the celebrities that will have died. In terms of politics, I imagine Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and maybe John McCain will make it. A lad insane talk
- With Game of Thrones and Stranger Things off until 2019, and The Crown not likely to appear until December, we can likely expect movies to dominate even more strongly next year. The upcoming US midterm elections will likely generate huge interest, as will the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Serendipodous 01:57, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
- These lists excludes the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.