The Rise of the Sequels (1980 to 2012)

Did you also have the feeling that more and more of the top movies are sequels? If yes, then you were absolutely right. Starting with the turn of the millenium, Hollywood realized that sequels are cash cows and a wave of sequels flooded the market (with great success). I analyzed the number of sequels in the top 10 highest grossing films (numbers taken from Box Office Mojo, a fantastic data source for movie fans). Here’s the graph:

sequels top ten movies 1980 2012

In the 80s there were on average about 2 sequels in the top ten each year. In the 90s this declined to only 1 sequel, there even were some years (1993, 1994, 1996 and 1998) without any sequels in the top ten. It seemed that Hollywood was turning away from making sequels. But in the 2000s the situation changed noticeably, on average 3 sequels made it into the top ten. In 2003 and 2007 half of the top ten consisted of sequels! And it seems that these peaks are becoming the standard for the 2010s. The year 2011 set a new record with 7 sequels among the top ten. And with so many high quality sequels coming up (see here:, we might even see this record broken in the near future.

Quantitative Analysis of Top 60 Kindle Romance Novels

I did a quantitative analysis of the current Top 60 Kindle Romance ebooks. Here are the results. First I’ll take a look at all price related data and conclusions.


  • Price over rank:


There seems to be no relation between price and rank. A linear fit confirmed this. The average price was 3.70 $ with a standard deviation of 2.70 $.


  • Price frequency count:


(Note that prices have been rounded up) About one third of all romance novels in the top 60 are offered for 1 $. Roughly another third for 3 $ or 4 $.


  • Price per 100 pages over rank:


Again, no relation here. The average price per 100 pages was 1.24 $ with a standard deviation of 0.86 $.


  • Price per 100 pages frequency count:


About half of all novels in the top 60 have a price per 100 pages lower than 1.20 $. Another third lies between 1.20 $ and 1.60 $.


  • Price per 100 pages over number of pages:


As I expected, the bigger the novel, the less you pay per page. Romance novels of about 200 pages cost 1.50 $ per 100 pages, while at 400 pages the price drops to about 1 $ per 100 pages. The decline is statistically significant, however there’s a lot of variation.


  • Review count:


A little less than one half of the top novels have less than 50 reviews. About 40 % have between 50 and 150 reviews. Note that some of the remaining 10 % more than 600 reviews (not included in the graph).


  • Rating over rank:


There’s practically no dependence of rank on rating among the top 60 novels. However, all have a rating of 3.5 stars or higher, most of them (95 %) 4 stars or higher.


  • Pages over ranking:


There’s no relation between number of pages and rank. A linear fit confirmed this. The average number of pages was 316 with a standard deviation of 107.


  • Pages count:


About 70 % of the analyzed novels have between 200 and 400 pages. 12 % are below and 18 % above this range.