Guardians of the Galaxy has a dark side. The Marvel/Disney film that became the biggest August box office opener of all time when it took off with a $94.3M debut in 2014, then grossed $773.3M worldwide and also spawned a sequel now has been named the Deadliest Hollywood Film of all time with a staggering 83,871 on-screen deaths.
Why so many? According to GoCompare, which compiled the report based on an examination of 653 films that had more than 50 on-screen deaths, the reason for the high number is because of the dramatic finale, which sees more than 80,000 Nova Corps pilots die in one scene. It’s comic book violence, to be sure, as opposed to gruesome, bloody deaths in other films.
The methodology to arrive at this? First of all, films with death counts below 50 were excluded. A “kill” was counted when either a dead body was seen or a character was very heavily implied dead. “Implied” means being shot or stabbed severely, mentioned as killed (and never returning), blown up, thrown off a cliff or shot/stabbed just off-screen and never heard from again. “Blown up” means lit on fire, blown to bits, last seen in an incinerated building/object or thrown off their feet by an explosion, causing them to not get back up (death by concussion). Animals and robots were only counted where they were played (either physically or voiced) by a human. Check out the full report here.
The James Gunn-directed Guardians was marketed to a fair number of kids because of its PG-13 rating. Gunn tweeted out about the report today:
In second place in the grisly Top 10 list was Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold (2014), followed by The Sum of All Fears (2002) from director Phil Alden Robinson. The rest in order of most kills: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 300: Rise of an Empire, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Matrix Revolutions, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Braveheart and The Avengers.
Guardians of the Galaxy also was No. 5 in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament for 2014.