The top 3 film genres of all time and why?

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Film is a getaway for most audiences and it is understandable that the top genres that have captivated us are those that keep us at the edge of our seats while we remove ourselves from the routine of everyday life.

Based on an assessment of box office revenues in America, the top three most popular genres are as follows:


1. Adventure/ Action

Adventure/action movies take a huge slice of the cake.

“Never easy saving the day.” (Credits: Snapwire

These are films, which focus on story line that takes the audience through a series of pitfalls and twist of fates.

The audience is treated to a sense of personal journey and excitement as the plot unfolds. Also, action is usually included: either in the form of a high-speed chase, well-choreographed fight scenes or most things that encourage a racing heartbeat.

One never really knows what to expect when engaged in an adventure/action flick premise, it could be a situation involving a room full of mummies, a trip to a haunted mountain or an ocean voyage of self-discovery.

Fan favourites such as the marvel superhero series are considered adventure/action films due to their immersive well-crafted story arc (that leads up to an onscreen adventure).

In essence, adventure films are largely similar to action films, and can sometimes be described interchangeably.

Both genres apply the concept of a great build-up of suspenseful story line that demonstrates dynamic action-filled scenes, guiding the audience through an energetic sequence.

Action films have been entertaining audiences for a long time if one considered cult classics such as King Kong (1933) and The Indiana Jones franchise, debuting with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

The idea of an adventure/action film could be traced to the golden age of Hollywood (1930s) when TV matinee idols portrayed heroes onscreen, usually in a period setting.

Most often than not, swashbuckling films (pirate themed content) were the flavor of the day, such as in Captain Blood (1935) and The Sea Hawk (1940).

The usual production set of many pioneering action films. (Credits:

We have come a long way from the days of raw fighting choreography involving sailors on sinking ships and entered a world drowned with CGI-enhanced effects.

As proven by Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), anything is possible.

In Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), the desert scenes were augmented to show an even greater expanse while convoys of vehicles were duplicated in frames to create a formidable army.

While in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), legendary actor Peter Cushing was “returned from the dead” (the actor passed away in 1995) to reprise his role as the ruthless Grand Moff Tarkin.

Despite technological advances, the success of modern action films is still determined by a set of traditional factors such as stylish fight scenes, a decent backstory and ingenious villains.

According to some critics, the industry standard of overloading on CGI has backfired to a certain extent.

It is certainly more exciting to watch the iconic truck chase in the Raiders of the Lost Ark in its physical entirety and gasp in awe than to watch an action hero strut out of a CGI inferno without breaking a sweat. The first is believable while the other just seems too artificial to generate any positive feedback.


Why do people enjoy adventure/action films so much?

Because it is all about the hero against impossible numbers!

Many of us crave to see that invincible being who has the unique ability to overcome all odds. Superhero films take it up a notch, showing us how characters can retain their stunning good looks and flawless physiques all while saving the rest of the world from the forces of evil.

Audiences tend to idolize some of the onscreen personas and may even integrate some of the heroic qualities in their everyday struggles.

Through adventures, impossible hurdles are overcome, foes are defeated and a ‘’happily-ever-after’’ is achieved. Most people would leap at such an eventful experience.


2. Drama

The thousand faces of drama. (Credits: Ghost Presenter

Next up on the popular genre list is the drama genre.

The drama genre focuses on realistic characters that tackle the biggest problems in everyday life, against external forces or internal struggles. As such, it is easy for audiences to relate to the human side of the characters and perhaps, even gain valuable lessons from the actions of the characters depicted.

Sometimes, the otherwise ordinary characters have challenges stacked against them that test their resilience and transform them into exceptional people.

In 12 Years a Slave (2013), based on the autobiographical work of Solomon Northup, the protagonist is an educated African American man who was tossed into the dark suppressed world of slavery.

Portrayed by the talented Chiwetel Ejiofor, Northup is kidnapped and made a slave. He suffers terrible abuse by a sadistic slave-owner and fights for survival until he is finally liberated after twelve long years.

Other dramas however, might stick to more mundane settings.

In the coming-of-age film, Boyhood (2014), director Richard Linklater aimed to capture the growing up process of a boy as the sole male in a Texan family who lived with his older sister and divorced mother.

The film production spanned an impressive period between 2002–2013 and showcased the cast who physically aged as the filming progressed, especially of note was the protagonist, played by Ellar Coltrane.

The onscreen aging process was authentic, and this was supported by the involvement of major cast members in the script writing process where they were encouraged to incorporate their personal growth experiences.

Ultimately, a drama is about the well-detailed development of the emotions and relationships belonging to a character.


Why do people enjoy Drama films so much?

There is something special about a well-written piece of dramatic narrative.

The reunion of long-lost characters, the trials and tribulations of a family and the build-up of unexpected friendships are all very heartfelt themes that evoke emotions in the audience.

A good drama takes us away from our woes to focus on another person on screen. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside and is generally a characteristic of our natural sense of empathy.


3. Comedy

Arggh…pieces of me. (Credits:

We conclude the list with perhaps one of the more debated genres, comedy.

There are many versions of humour and what is deemed knee-slapping funny to one person may be lame to another.

Therefore, it would not come as a surprise that there is a wide array of sub-genres to choose from when we bask in comedy, including: Character Comedy (A comedy revolving around the antics of a usually exaggerated character, e.g. Mr Bean), Cringe Comedy (Where the performer resorts to embarrassing words and actions to elicit humour) and Mockumentary ( content that applies the usual documentary methods to produce a satirical effect on a made-up topic).

Dumb and Dumber (1994) follows two ridiculous friends who stumble upon some dirty money, which leads them cross country through dangerous scenarios that put their simple minds to the ultimate test. Hilarity ensues.

In Johnny English (2003), Rowan Atkinson plays a mockery of the James Bond character who makes a mess in every possible situation.

Audiences are treated to the funny exploits of English, who miraculously saves the world despite his carelessly destructive actions.


Why do people enjoy comedy films so much?

Because it makes us laugh! Nothing beats lightening up the atmosphere that provides the positive vibes about life that put our troubles behind us.


The Thing about Genres

Although there were many other widely-celebrated genres that did not make the list, it is safe to say that each of us desire a particular flavour. When we are feeling brave, we may reach for a horror title while other times when life seems difficult, we tend to go to comedies as a type of relief measure.


At Premise TV, we strive to provide you with a large variety of content genres to suit your moods. Visit us at, the site that creates content for audiences based on your suggestions. We hear you!


Author: Laurenzo Jude

Premise TV is an interactive online platform that streams edgy films to genre-driven audiences and allows filmmakers to raise funds and builds a fanbase from it.

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