How Many Movies are There in the Whole World?

Updated June 25, 2022
4 min read
By George Djaniants
Film History
How many movies are there

How many movies are there? This is a question that does not have a concrete answer, as new movies are released every day. According to the website The Numbers, there have been over 486,000 movies released. However, this number only includes movies that have been released theatrically; it does not include movies that have gone straight to DVD or been released online. So does a feature film need to be released in theaters to be considered a movie? Or can it simply be shown online? In addition, there are also a few films that have been lost or destroyed over the years, making an accurate count impossible.

Movie Theater

History of Film

The history of film is often traced back to the 19th century when the first moving images were created. However, the origins of film go back even further, to the invention of the camera obscura in the early 16th century. This simple device used a lens to project an image onto a screen, and it quickly became a popular means of entertainment and education. In the late 18th century, scientists began experimenting with ways to capture and store these images, leading to the development of photography. This new technology quickly found its way into the burgeoning field of filmmaking. The first-ever film was released in 1878, called "The Horse in Motion", and was just a mere 30 seconds long. The early films were crude and rudimentary, but they laid the groundwork for the development of one of the most important art forms of the 20th century. Since then, the film industry has come a long way, producing movies of all shapes and sizes.

Old Movie Camera

How Films are Made

Film is a sequence of still images that when shown in rapid succession, create the illusion of moving images. This optical illusion causes the audience to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed in succession. The film itself is created through a series of production stages including pre-production, production, and post-production. These stages are fundamentally important to creating a successful film.

Pre-production is the stage where the film's plot and story are developed and the film's budget and financing are put into place. Production is the stage where the film is shot. This is done using various film production techniques like camera angles, lighting, and set design. Post-production is the stage where the film is edited and put together. This includes adding special effects, music, and other elements to create the final film product. Read our full article here on film production process.

Film Production

What Constitutes a Film

There is no single answer to the question of what constitutes a film. Theatrical films are those that are shown in movie theaters and are generally produced by professional filmmakers. These films often have high production values and are intended for a wide audience. Independent films, documentaries, and online videos, on the other hand, are typically made by amateurs and are not intended for theatrical release. In recent years, the line between these two types of films has become blurred, as more and more independent filmmakers are using digital technology to produce films that can be shown in theaters. As a result, the definition of a film is constantly evolving. Ultimately, what defines a film is its ability to engage and entertain an audience. Whether it is shown in a theater or watched on a television screen, a good film will transport its viewers to another world and leave them wanting more. So for this discussion, we will define film as a motion picture asset that's been released to the public with a runtime of at least 60 minutes. Knowing this, let's try to explore how many films are made every year.

Desert Movie Set

How Many Films are Made Every Year

It takes a great amount of work to produce a single movie, especially if that one movie requires a lot of special effects such as "Star Wars" or "Jurassic Park." With how difficult it is to make a movie, how many are made? In any given year, there are a wide variety of movies released in theaters. According to a recent report, an estimated 4,752 theatrical cinema films were produced around the world in 2018. The report also found that the vast majority of these films were produced in North America, Europe, and Asia. Nearly two-thirds of all theatrical films were produced in just three countries: the United States, India, and China. While the exact number of films produced each year may vary somewhat from one year to the next, it is clear that movie-making is a booming industry that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.


The Answer

Today, it is estimated that there are over 4 million motion picture assets in existence. With new movies being released every day, it's impossible to say exactly how many movies there are in the world, all we can do is provide an estimate. However, one thing is for sure - we're never going to run out of things to watch!

Man Watching TV
Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by George Djaniants

George Djaniants

CEO & Co-Founder