Membership / News

Members’ Poll: The Best Films Of 2016


Membership roundel-01

Last month we emailed Picturehouse Members asking them to take part in a poll to discover their collective favourite film of 2016. We were overwhelmed by the response and would like to thank those who shared their cinematic highlights with us.

Denis Villenueve’s Arrival was crowned champion in our staff vote, but which films came out on top for our esteemed patrons? Paul Ridd – London Cinemas and Acquisitions Coordinator at Picturehouse – analyses the results.

A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the top 10 favourite films of 2016 as voted by our staff at Head Office and in our cinemas. The results were intriguing, with a diverse range of films voted for by a total of 126 people and several ties, meaning we wound up having to make an entirely separate Best Films Of The Year list, featuring a total of 17 films.

This year, we took the opportunity to expand our research out to our Members, asking them to vote for their top 5 favourite films of the year. As with the first vote, the limit was set to films theatrically released in 2016 to avoid the chaos of many end-of-year lists. The results, from a total of 823 voters, were as follows. Total votes cast show up in the right column. There were no ties in the top 10, which made for a far clearer, more concise set of films from our customers.members-voteLooking at the main data, we can see that 224 different films were voted for at least once. That’s a lot of releases! But it’s nice to see that over a quarter of votes cast were for films in the top 10, suggesting considerable consensus across our membership base. That being said, 70 films were voted for just once, showing a very strong diversity of taste.

Focusing just on the top 10, the most marked difference between this vote and the previous poll is the clear victory for I, Daniel Blake, which actually positioned third behind Arrival and Victoria amongst our staff. Victoria notably doesn’t feature here at all, with Julieta alone flying the flag for Foreign Language cinema. That’s a very big difference from the showing for non-English cinema amongst our staff. Arrival in a strong second place suggests a little unity, with Nocturnal Animals at third and Hunt For The Wilderpeople at fourth similarly positioned.


Six of the ten here are predominantly US productions, alongside two from the UK and one from New Zealand. The majority are what we could broadly describe as ‘awards-friendly’ with last year’s Best Picture winner Spotlight a key player. There are four films that we might describe as female-lead and it’s particularly interesting to see how most were actually wide to saturation releases, with only Paterson really a limited opener.

Here’s to another year of exciting movies!

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