Wikipedia:Top 25 Report

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Top 25 Report: Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (February 15 to 21, 2015)[edit]

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Summary: I may be an unworldly person, but I've never met anyone who really observed Lent. Even preachers' children I've met tend to observe it in a "no TV, no video games" kind of way. So it has been for hundreds of years, as Christian authorities have watered it down from a full-on Ramadan-style fast to merely abstaining from beef or fish to, you know, just denying yourself a little bit, for reflection's sake, if that's OK. So it is odd that the massive festivals that supposedly mark our last chance to indulge before 40 days of denial are still held, even if no one will stop you ordering a deep-fried double cheeseburger the next day. Even more odd, to me anyway, is the peculiar obsession Wikipedia viewers have with the holiday, as it floods the Top 25 list reliably once a year. I'd assume Wikipedia readers are a particularly pious lot, if not for the fact that they also celebrated this Calvary of voluntary privation by reading up on a trashy movie about sexual depravity and excess.

As prepared by Serendipodous, for the week of February 15 to 21, 2015, the 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the report of the most viewed pages, were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 Fifty Shades of Grey B-Class 1,921,638
Color icon gray v2.svg
The release of the film adaptation of this onetime Twilight fanfic that introduced 100 million bored housewives to the questionable joys of BDSM has been a study in the inevitable. Inevitably, critics panned it (it has a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is actually higher than I expected), and equally inevitably, women flocked to it anyway, with a 68% female audience handing over $324 million worldwide in its first eight days. Still, early reports from the second weekend suggests the film may have, shall we say, peaked too early, with a reported 74% drop in receipts.
2 Alessandro Volta Start-class 1,641,496
Alessandro Volta.jpeg
The inventor of the electric battery and namesake of the volt unit got a Google Doodle on his 270th birthday on February 18.
3 Fifty Shades of Grey (film) C-Class 1,437,315
Color icon gray v2.svg
See #1
4 Chinese New Year C class 1,404,338
Chinese draak.jpg
The Year of the Goat (or sheep, or ram) knocked last year off the bridge on February 19.
5 Ash Wednesday B-class 994,181
There was a time, not so long ago really, (say a century or two) when this moveable feast marking the first day of Lent would have been the main topic of discussion among the public. Times have changed. Most people don't even fast for Lent any more, let alone show their devotion by marking their foreheads with ash.
6 Zach LaVine C class 940,027
Zach LaVine vs USC (cropped).jpg
This rookie player for the Minnesota Timberwolves won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend. At just 19, he was the youngest to do so for eight years.
7 Stephen Hawking B-Class 870,838
Stephen Hawking.StarChild.jpg
The former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, black hole theorist and latter-day science icon makes his 16th straight appearance in the Top 25 this week. Interest is only likely to increase after the Oscars, thanks to Eddie Redmayne's Best Actor win for portraying him.
8 Chris Kyle B-class 853,404
Chris Kyle January 2012.jpg
If there's one thing America loves, it's a good, old fashioned culture war. Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort American Sniper may not be wowing the critics (Rotten Tomatoes places it 13th among the films he has directed), nor drawing the crowds overseas (its international box office take is currently less than a third its domestic take) but it has played spectacularly well in America's conservative heartland, leading politicians on the left and right to, well, snipe at each other about what the film and its popularity say about America, its people, and in particular its subject, the now deceased sniper Chris Kyle. While interest seems to be winding down (viewing figures for this article peaked at 5.3 million three weeks ago) the topic still has enough oxygen to keep it in the Top 10.
9 Dakota Johnson Start-class 811,185
Dakota Johnson 2014 (cropped).jpg
The daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson played the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey (film) (see #1)
10 Lunar New Year Start-class 805,996
Lunar libration with phase Oct 2007 450px.gif
Many cultures have a Lunar New Year, but only a few celebrate it in February, as several curious users found out this week.
11 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant C-class 728,863
Syria and Iraq 2014-onward War map.png
The battle-ravaged non-country called the "Islamic State" has proved remarkably persistent, even after the brutal Siege of Kobanî, which purged ISIS from the town at the cost of utterly destroying it. This week, interest spiked when ISIS made its first true incursion into North Africa, after 21 Egyptians were murdered in Libya, only a short boat ride from southern Europe.
12 Jamie Dornan Start-class 707,140
Jamie Dornan 2014.jpg
The British actor and former model plays the lead male role of Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey (film). While he may have inspired the #NotMyChristian Twitter campaign, that hasn't stopped anyone from seeing the film.
13 Better Call Saul Start-class 676,687
Bob Odenkirk by Gage Skidmore.jpg
A television show spinoff of Breaking Bad (a former chart favorite on Wikipedia) starring Bob Odenkirk (pictured), it debuted on AMC on February 8, 2015.
14 Kingsman: The Secret Service B-Class 673,724
Colin Firth by Gage Skidmore.jpg
It says something about just how female-oriented Fifty Shades of Grey is that a movie with Colin Firth in it could essentially act as counterprogramming.
15 Amber Rose Start-class 671,443
Amber Rose - 2014 People Magazine Awards (cropped).jpg
Kanye West is on a roll it seems. No sooner had he atoned in public over his ill-judged trash talk against Album of the Year winner Beck, he then turned against his former girlfriend, hip-hop singer and former stripper Amber Rose, claiming that, “If Kim had dated me when I wanted, there would be no Amber Rose,” and that Kim had ordered him to take "30 showers" to wash off the Amber Rose before she'd let him date her. Her rather high-minded response on Twitter has earned her the respect of the Internet gossip press.
16 Facebook B-class 659,464
Ad-tech London 2010 (5).JPG
A perennially popular article.
17 Mardi Gras B-class 644,392 KosmicFrenchmenPurpleFaceMardiGras2009.JPG The festival to mark the beginning of Lent is celebrated in many countries around the world, but most people looking this up were probably interested in the New Orleans version.
18 87th Academy Awards C-class 606,400
Red carpet Academy Awards 2009.jpg
This year's awards were a bit predictable (Really? Birdman won? I'd never have guessed) and ridiculously long (4.5 hours), both of which may go some way towards explaining why this year's telecast was the lowest-rated in modern times. Of course, that has nothing to do with this list, which doesn't cover the date of the Awards, but it will be interesting to see how it affects the topics next week.
19 Fifty Shades Darker Unassessed 556,063
Color icon black.png
The sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey is doubtless on the list because people are anticipating the all-but inevitable film adaptation.
20 Gilda Radner B-class 531,472
Gene Wilder - Gilda Radner.jpg
There were many tributes paid during Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special, but it was Emma Stone's recreation of the sadly-late Gilda Radner's character Roseanne Roseannadanna that caught the interest of Wikipedia viewers.
21 Shrove Tuesday Start-Class 531,472
18. Februar 2012 Faschingsdienstag, Sanok.jpg
The last day before Lent is traditionally celebrated in a number of different ways; from eating pancakes to dancing topless in sequinned parades. One is left to wonder which customs Wikipedia viewers were interested in.
22 2015 Cricket World Cup C-class 526,411
Bellerive oval hobart.jpg
The world's most popular non-soccer, non-Olympics sporting event got underway on Valentine's Day, hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand.
23 Lent Start-class 522,422
Holy Week procession in Granada, Nicaragua.jpg
The Christian period of abstinence has been a recurring theme on this list this week.
24 Lesley Gore C-class 521,132
Leslie Gore Batman 1967.JPG
The chirpy-voiced singer of such innocent 60s pop hits as "You Don't Own Me" and "It's My Party" died this week at the age of 68
25 Ariana Grande B-class 519,246
The singer returns to the Top 25 thanks to the release of her latest video, "One Last Time".


  • This list excludes the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we also exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (2% or less) or almost all mobile views (95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the talk page if you wish.
Note: If you came here from the Signpost article, please take any discussion of exclusions to this article's talk page.

Specific exclusions this week:

  • Saint Valentine's Day Massacre: A carryover from last week, with a 3.56% mobile count, but huge spike on February 14 suggests this is bot driven by some broken-hearted folks.
  • Cold War: an odd 2-day spike and a 2.41% mobile count suggest this is artificial.