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MFF Data: Analyzing the Screams in the Scream Franchise

January 12, 2022

This morning, I woke up with this feeling, I didn’t know how to deal with, and so I just decided to myself that I’d count all the screams featured in the Scream franchise to see if there’s an ideal amount of screams, or whether they affect the Tomatometer/IMDb/Metacritic/Box Office results.

After some research, I found that there are a few infographics, lists and videos that attempted to count the screams, but they didn’t seem thorough enough to stop me from my quest. Thus, I felt like my idea to count the screams was justified (Hello Mickey from Scream 2). To prove I did the work, I’ve provided timestamps of all the screams I included in my count.

Here’s what I counted as a scream:

Scream – When a character belts out an “aaaaaaahhhh” or “eeeeeeeee” (you know the noise). I didn’t count when a character yells ‘Help me!” or “Oh, sh**!” No words, only primal screams.

I counted screams that occured during these instances:

  1. When a character is being chased or killed
  2. When a character screams in reaction to seeing someone being chased or killed
  3. When there’s a cheeky jump scare and people scream (think Scream 3)
  4. I didn’t include the screams featured in the Stab movie that played in Scream 2

Amount of screams per film

  1. Scream (1996) – 37
  2. Scream 2 (1997) – 51
  3. Scream 3 (2001) – 58
  4. Scream 4 (2011) – 43
  5. Total – 189

Results

Scream (1996)

  • Tomatometer – 79%
  • RT Audience Score – 79%
  • IMDb – 7.3
  • Metacritic – 65%
  • Average of all four – 74 (the 7.3 IMDb score became 73)
  • Worldwide box office – $175 million
  • How many people are killed by Ghostface(s) – 5

Scream features the least amount of screams and death. It also made the most money at the box office, when the audience/critic scores are averaged, it has the highest scores.

r/movies - I rewatched the Scream franchise and recorded every instance of screaming. Scream (1996) features the least amount of screaming (37) and it made the most money and has the highest averaged critical/audience scores. Scream 3 features the most screaming (58), and it has the lowest scores.

Scream 2 (1997)

  • Tomatometer – 81%
  • RT Audience Score – 57%
  • IMDb – 6.2
  • Metacritic – 63%
  • Average of all four – 65.75
  • Worldwide Box Office – $172 million
  • How many people were killed by Ghostface(s) – 8 (Mrs Loomis shoots Mickey, but he’s finished off by Gale and Sidney).

Scream 2 has the highest Tomatometer score of all the Scream films, but the drop off in IMDB and RT audience scores is notable. It’s an excellent horror sequel though. It successfully upped the amount of screams without leaning into self parody.

  • Best Scream – Best Scream – Maureen’s epic Scream is wonderful.
  • Worth Noting – the Scream movies (Scream, Scream 2) featuring a Loomis killing people are the most successful.

Scream 3 (2000)

  • Tomatometer – 41%
  • RT Audience Score – 37%
  • IMDb – 5.6
  • Metacritic – 56%
  • Average of all four – 47.5
  • Worldwide Box Office – $162 million
  • How many people were killed by Ghostface(s) – 9
  • I love Scream 3 (Parker Posey is hilarious), and I appreciate how hard they leaned into comedic screaming. However, critics and audiences did not. It’s the only Rotten film in the franchise and it has the lowest IMDb score.
  • Best Scream – The insane moment when Dewey keeps getting scared and screaming
  • Worth noting – it’s the only Scream movie with one killer.

Scream 4 (2011)

  • Tomatometer – 60%
  • RT Audience Score – 56%
  • IMDb – 6.2
  • Metacritic – 52%
  • Average of all four – 57.5
  • Worldwide Box Office – $96 million
  • How many people were killed by Ghostface(s) – 13

After the scream heavy Scream 3, the franchise took a break and came back with a less-screamy sequel. The franchise went back into Fresh territory, but it failed to restart the series at the box office. It shares almost identical IMDb and RT audience scores with Scream 2, so audiences must like screams in the 43-52 range more than 58+ screams.

r/movies - I rewatched the Scream franchise and recorded every instance of screaming. Scream (1996) features the least amount of screaming (37) and it made the most money and has the highest averaged critical/audience scores. Scream 3 features the most screaming (58), and it has the lowest scores.

Conclusion

  • Scream, the movie featuring the least amount of screams made the most money and has the highest critical/audience average.
  • Scream 2 has the highest Tomatometer score, but a big dropoff everywhere else.
  • Scream 3 is loaded with screaming people, which worked against it, and it has the lowest all around average
  • Scream 4 – Dropped the amount of screams and went back to Fresh territory. However, the huge kill count worked against it.

Conclusion – Scream features the least amount of screams and death, and it made the most money. Also, aside from it’s Tomatometer score, it has the highest Metacritic, IMDb, and RT Audience scores. Scream 3 has the most screams, and it has the lowest RT (critic and user), IMDb, and Metacritic scores. Scream 4 has the most kills, and it made the least amount of money.

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