Deadline is reporting on a study from financial analysis firm Go Compare, which took a break from its busy work comparing stocks and bonds in order to determine which movie has the all-time highest number of onscreen deaths. The somewhat surprising answer? James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, sporting 83,871 poppily soundtracked expirations. It didn’t take long for the internet hordes to assemble, though, with the statistic quickly being met with the sound of a million voices crying out, “But what about Alderaan?” and then being silenced. Silenced, in this case by an irritated James Gunn:
As Gunn noted via social media, the list only purports to count “onscreen” deaths, so the millions of Princess Leia’s countrymen (planetmen?) who blew up to demonstrate the Death Star’s power in Star Wars: A New Hope don’t count. (In fact, the Star Wars movie with the most visible corpses is The Force Awakens, with 791.) The climax of Guardians, on the other hand, features 80,000 individually animated Nova Corps pilots getting bloodlessly snuffed out in a massive CGI explosion. Of course, we only see the spaceships explode, and not the actual corpsmen, but the Go Compare study did say “implied deaths” went on the list.
Other highly placed entries include Dracula Untold (5,687), The Sum Of All Fears (2,922), and The Return Of The King (2,798). But at least some of these sound like they come from films showing the viewer big battle scenes, and then having someone later say “Oh, and then the entire army died.” By that logic, you could argue that the destruction of an entire planet by a giant laser also implies a certain death count, but at this point, our internet argument muscles have gotten so tired that we might as well just call Lee Pace down, so he can drive a giant spaceship into our faces and end the misery once and for all.