Crew Sizes on Highest Grossing Hollywood Films

by planetMitch1 Comment

If you are anything like me, you sit in a movie until the very last bit of the credits roll. And, as you sit there watching the credits roll by, you realize that it takes many many people to make that movie that you just watched.

The other day, I found this story by Steven follows, Where he did a bunch of research on the top 50 movies, And counted the number of people that worked in each department and in the overall film.

We have grabbed just a little bit of his article, And if this interests you at all please follow through to read the entire story on Stevens's site. It really is quite amazing to see how many people it really takes to get a Hollywood blockbuster completed.

How many people work on a Hollywood Film?

From Stephen Follows:

I took the 50 highest grossing films of each of the past 20 years (giving me 1,000 films to study) and looked at the number of people credited on IMDb. In summary…

  • Iron Man 3 credits 3,310 crew members
  • The average number of crew credits in the top 1,000 films between 1994 and 2013 was 588.
  • Over half of the top films had under 500 people in their crew
  • On average the top films of the past two decades have each had 3.5 writers, 7 producers, 55 people in the art department, 32 in sound, 55 in camera / electrical and 156 in visual effects.
  • The Butler had 39 producers – 5 producers, 17 executive producers, 6 co-executive producers, 4 co-producers and 7 associate producers
  • A third of the workers on Love Actually were in the art department
  • Crew credits suggest that Peter Jackson favours special effects over visual effects more than the industry average.
  • Now You See Me has six times the average number of people in the camera department
  • 23% of the people who worked on ‘Pokemon: The First Movie’ were in the music department
  • The biggest crews are rather staggering, with 3,310 people receiving a credit on Iron Man 3.


Overall, the average number of crew credits was 588, with the top 25% of films accounting for half of all credits. Out of my list of 1,000 films…

Only 1 film had over 3,000 credits
13 films credited between 2,000 – 2,999 people
133 films credited between 1,000 – 1,999 people
287 films credited between 500 – 999 people
566 films credited under 500 people

Read full article at Stephen Follows: How many people work on a Hollywood Film?

(cover photo credit: snap from Stephen Follows)

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  1. Too bad we can’t know how many hours each person put in and then what their compensation was.  I know producers and directors and actors are the ones we all think about but for people considering a career in film, I wonder how different positions rate on yearly salary.  I’m sure it would just be too hard to figure.

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