Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2020-01-27/Traffic report

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The most viewed articles of 2019: As only The Signpost can describe them.
This traffic report is adapted from the 2019 Top 50 Report, prepared with commentary by Stormy clouds, Serendipodous, Pythoncoder, igordebraga and A lad insane.

Annual Top 50

Based on the raw data from West.andrew.g and prepared with commentary by:

Time Keeps On Slipping, Into the Past

The Top 25 Report, and by extension this yearly Top 50, is supposed to be the newest things that are capturing reader attention. So what a surprise that many entries of 2019 are actually people and events from many years ago, that got a viewer boost for being the subjects of shows and movies on Netflix, HBO, and Hulu, and even plain theatrical films! Or that the 2018 movies Bohemian Rhapsody and Aquaman managed to inspire more views than events such as the election of Boris Johnson or the Notre-Dame de Paris fire. Fitting of all this looking backwards is that the top article of the year is a movie featuring time travel, Avengers: Endgame, which broke box office records (#6) in a display of how dominant superhero adaptations have gotten: not even death (both the ever-present yearly list and four famous deceased people) could beat the Marvel Cinematic Universe! There are five more entries related to that franchise, including an actress; DC Comics at least got one movie in the top ten and two actors somewhere else. For those not pleased with so much old stuff, somehow the top 10 got a singer who turned 18 this year, and #29 is a website loved by young people. Otherwise, the subjects are many of the usual offenders: movies, television (and Star Wars releases in both!), politics, India, YouTube, and a few people who remain popular every year.

Rank Article Class Views Image About Peak
1 Avengers: Endgame C-Class article 44,243,400
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In the comics, Thanos is always wanting to court Death. Well, on Wikipedia he managed to conquer her, preventing the yearly death list from topping the Report (like Trump back in 2016) for three years straight, thanks to a three hour epic where all the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes gang up to beat the Mad Titan – that's what you get for decimating half the life in the universe! For being the culmination of 21 movies – some of whom are revisited through time travel – and also serving to solve the aforementioned massacre that closed last year's Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame had a huge crowd waiting for it, and thus managed to break the $2.8 billion box office record set by Avatar nine years ago (for now), with positive reviews and fan reception, to boot. Apr. 26 (released)
2 Deaths in 2019 List-Class article 38,793,582
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Wikipedians have never been the type to shy away from death. Ever since the Top 25 came into being, this article's yearly equivalent has been on the list effectively every week (with a few exceptions) and its popularity carries over to the yearly report. Typically (but not always) the article serves as the list's lodestone, its position indicating the hotness of each week's news. This year's features included Doris Day, Carroll Spinney, and my sleep cycle. Jul. 28
3 Ted Bundy Good article 29,419,244
Ted Bundy mug shot.jpg
January 24, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the death one of America's most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy benefitted from the relatively lax law enforcement of the 1970s to torture, murder and sexually desecrate the corpses at least 20, possibly 30 and perhaps even more young women across seven states. To mark that anniversary, Netflix launched two events: Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, a multi-part documentary, and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a biopic starring Zac Efron in the title role. Netflix later attempted to rein in what it had unleashed when comments by the thousand cried the call common even when he was alive, that he was "too good looking" to be a serial killer. Jan. 26 (Netflix series)
4 Freddie Mercury Good article 27,490,878
Queen (15383194666).jpg
Since the release of Bohemian Rhapsody there has been a renewed race among denizens of Wikipedia to discover the magic that drove fans gaga for years. Many found that the poorly edited and effectively fictional mess deviated dramatically from reality upon doing so, but Rami Malek earned his Oscar by playing the game. If anything, the popularity of Mercury over the past two years shows that there truly was no one like him, and that in spite of his untimely demise, he still rocks us, and still lives in our perfect dream. Feb. 25 (Bohemian Rhapsody wins 3 Oscars)
5 Chernobyl disaster C-Class article 25,571,308
View of Chernobyl taken from Pripyat zoomed.JPG
The second screen is back, as viewers of the highly acclaimed miniseries depended on Wikipedia to provide them with necessary background information for this horrifying and intensely confusing disaster. While the miniseries was the driving force behind the rise, Chernobyl had been echoing in our subconscious for some time, with video games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Fallout 3, The Last Of Us and Metro: Exodus drawing clear inspiration from Pripyat, the eerie ghost town left behind by the meltdown. May 28 (episode 4 of Chernobyl)
6 List of highest-grossing films Featured list 25,030,589
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Avengers: Endgame closed out one chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on a high note, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, though just barely—it only claimed the record following rereleases that featured deleted scenes. Endgame wasn't the only movie that made the top 50 list—Joker, The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Toy Story 4, Joker, and Aladdin all entered the history books this year, with each grossing over $1 billion. Part of the reason why this list is dominated by recent releases is the effect of inflation. The inflation-adjusted list still shows an impressive result for Avengers: Endgame, but it’s nowhere near Gone with the Wind, which made $3.7 billion in 2019 dollars. May 6 (Endgame grosses a billion dollars in a week)
7 Joker (2019 film) C-Class article 23,014,723
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Arthur Fleck got what he deserved, even if some people died in the way. Todd Phillips combined the Martin Scorsese movies Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy with the deranged sociopathic clown from DC Comics, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as a loony jester in early 80s not-New York who eventually snaps out. Even if there was some controversy regarding Joker’s plentiful violence, audiences flocked to see it, and the movie managed the feat of grossing $1 billion worldwide even with high content ratings. Having already won the Golden Lion in the Venice Film Festival, Joker is also starting to get recognized by the awards circuit, particularly Phoenix's performance. Oct. 4 (release)
8 List of Marvel Cinematic Universe films Featured list 21,971,962
C2E2 2013 - Avengers Assemble (8684998951).jpg
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is certainly a convoluted one, with a plethora of fast-paced movies populating the category and defining its fact and fiction. Three of these movies was released this year – #1, #13, and #20 – and while I haven't seen them, or any of the movies, I do know people who are quite invested in the storyline, and that a lot of the plot is dependent on other movies. Perhaps many of the people driven here were family members of those who are acquainted with all the ins and outs of the Avengers, and arrived with intentions to figure out what was going on in this movie they were just dragged to watch. Apr. 28 (release of Endgame)
9 Billie Eilish C-Class article 20,883,098
Billie Eilish MTV.jpg
2019 bore witness to the meteoric rise of Billie Eilish in the music scene, and the intense furore surrounding the singer and her fervent fans propel her to a lofty slot in the upper echelons of the Report, cementing her position as one of the foremost musical artists of the here-and-now. She has received acclaim for ostensible depth and maturity in her songs. More pertinently, however, it saw her ascend towards the top of the mental list I have compiled of musicians that I cannot for the life of me abide, joining the hallowed ranks of Ed Sheeran. Sep. 29 (musical guest on Saturday Night Live)
10 Keanu Reeves C-Class article 16,957,251
Reunião com o ator norte-americano Keanu Reeves (46806576944) (cropped).jpg
Every 10 years or so, we seem to collectively fall in love with Keanu Reeves. While he may not be the world's best actor, his boundless charisma and seemingly genuine niceness (a hard thing to fake in the viral era) have earned him the title "the Internet's boyfriend". Though news is he is now taken, having begun a relationship with artist Alexandra Grant. A slew of current projects, including John Wick: Chapter 3, Toy Story 4 and Cyberpunk 2077 (which led to the most memed heckle and response of the year) have led to talk of a "Keanissance"; here's hoping his upcoming projects, including a new Matrix, a new John Wick, and even, at long last, a new Bill and Ted, can keep the flame burning. Jun. 12 (appeared on E3 panel for Cyberpunk 2077)
11 Jeffrey Epstein C-Class article 16,186,956
Epstein Final Mugshot.png
As if the political culture in the USA weren't bizarre already, when the death of a convicted sex offender becomes an Internet meme something must be up. This financier was arrested on July 6 – again – on charges relating to child sex trafficking. A little more than a month later, he was dead by apparent suicide. The recurring sentence "Epstein didn't kill himself" worked its way onto beer cans, the snow at Niagara Falls, and plenty elsewhere. More recently, the lost camera footage from his first suicide attempt previously written off as lost allegedly resurfaced, provoking suspicion of a deepfake from the culprits. Aug. 10 (died)
12 Elizabeth II Featured article 16,004,683
Queen Elizabeth II on 3 June 2019.jpg
Her Majesty just can't leave the top 50. Even as all her Royal cohorts fled the field, she stands tall, like Jodhi May in The Witcher, only with less chance of dying. 2019 was not a banner year for the British Royal Family: Prince Philip was involved in a car crash that left two people injured; Prince Andrew, reportedly Liz's favourite son, stepped down from Royal duties after failing to clear his messy connections to Jeffrey Epstein (see #11), and Boris Johnson dragged her into a constitutional crisis by forcing her to agree to an illegal prorogation of Parliament. But hey! The Crown's good, right? I assume. I mean it must be, given that it's the only reason she's on here. Nov. 18 (The Crown season 3 released)
13 Captain Marvel (film) Good article 15,788,749
WonderCon 2019 - Captain Marvel.jpg
Like Wonder Woman two years ago, Captain Marvel proved that audiences can care for a superheroine movie ($1 billion dollars worldwide!) if it's well made, with the bonus that Marvel fans just had to see why the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War alluded that Carol Danvers would be instrumental in the defeat of Thanos in our #1. And there, Brie Larson's heroine has a fairly minor role, if only for being a bit overpowered: after all, the solo movie shows that once her full strength is unleashed, no army or even armada can stand a chance against this seemingly extraterrestrial soldier that after crash-landing in 1995 Los Angeles, discovers she is actually a former Air Force pilot, and that her bosses were hiding many things about the war Danvers was fighting. Mar. 9 (released)
14 Game of Thrones (season 8) C-Class article 15,704,798
Dublin Wax GOT.jpg
Sigh.
Ah duh wan to talk about the vicious barrage of insults I hurled in vain at the television after the The Long Night's conclusion. Ah duh wan to talk about how, by the time the bells rang I felt nothing, how the entire experience had already been rendered completely hollow beyond the schadenfreude of enjoying the flurry of mocking memes spawned by it. And, tempting as it is, ah duh wan to laugh at the sheer, stark ineptitude of the summit of surviving named characters in the final episode, and the mind-boggling inconsistency of the choices made thereof. No, they can rest easy, and bask in how they turned a storied legacy and a truly decade-defining show into an irrelevancy and a punchline.
Apr. 15 (after season opener)
15 Game of Thrones Good article 15,467,551 May 20 (after series finale)
16 Donald Trump B-Class article 15,323,229
Donald Trump at 2019 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (49178332061) (cropped).jpg
The President of the United States is not one to shy away from controversy. His most recent newsworthy event (of which there have been many) occurred a mere week or so ago as of my time of writing – the United States House of Representatives voted to impeach him on two counts. He has also drawn press – and thus Wikipedia views – relating to his controversial immigration policy. He also became the first president to set foot in North Korea for quite a while, shortly after setting records by presiding over the longest US government shutdown in history. And as though that wasn't enough, his personal Twitter continues to evoke outrage, praise, and not incredibly much in between. Whatever your personal views are on American politics, Trump has certainly been quite polarizing, and will no doubt likely continue to be even more so. For example, writing this was a fun exercise in NPOV. Feb. 6 (State of the Union)
17 List of Bollywood films of 2019 List-Class article 14,937,541
India film clapperboard (variant).svg
India has the second biggest population, the second largest number of native English speakers... and the biggest film industry in the world, the Hindi language Bollywood. This all combines for both the movies to pile up on the crore, and the articles on them to warrant Top 25 Report entries through the year. This year, the biggest hit was the succinctly titled War, which apparently needs many more words to be described for those who've seen it. Oct. 12 (War climbs the box office)
18 United States Good article 14,683,053
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The country where Wikipedia was created, and where I live. The country that, at risk of not presenting a worldly perspective, is the Texas of the globe. A country which has been racked by partisan politics and politicians, many of whom are elsewhere on this list. The populace of the United States, contrary to what its name may suggest, has a unified opinion on precious few topics. The legislative system installed many moons ago to ensure "checks and balances", consisting of two chambers, is as of now split between two very different parties. Each party is unwilling to compromise on anything more controversial than puppies, leading to a plethora of bills stuck between them and never to be seen again. The United States is by no means united – once again, my unofficial theorem that fancy grandiose things in a country's name tend to indicate the opposite in real life appears to demonstrate itself. Jul. 27
19 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood C-Class article 13,920,098
Tarantino and Robbie at 2019 Cannes.jpg
After a relatively weak beginning to the cinematic year, with few releases receiving critical acclaim, coupled with general apathy and dissatisfaction for the Oscar winners, the autumn and winter have provided us with many memorable cinematic journeys, setting up an incredibly competitive awards season to come. Arguably the film which bifurcates the year is Tarantino's ninth, released as the summer drew to a close to critical acclaim and adoration from audiences following the customary premiere at Cannes. Perhaps the best way to describe the film is as a reflective ode to the dying days of the Golden Age of Hollywood, revelling in its iconography and genre-hopping through Rick Dalton's roles with gleeful abandon, building to a cathartic, ultra-violent alternate history take on the infamous Manson murders in the vein of Inglorious Basterds. Anchored by enigmatic performances from Leo and Brad, a brilliant 60's soundtrack and rife with humorous dialogue laden with Tarantino's trademark wit, the film is incredibly enjoyable, and in a weaker year (2018, for instance) would comfortably sweep the awards. It still might. Jul. 28 (released)
20 Spider-Man: Far From Home Good article 13,655,578
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The most popular character out of Marvel Comics just had to guarantee an entry, ensuring all MCU releases of the year are in (though not all movies based on the "House of Ideas" entered the list, as Dark Phoenix underwhelmed in pageviews too). After being brought back to life in our #1, Peter Parker traveled to Europe for a school trip, and unfortunately his leisure and attempts at romance had to fall back to donning Spider-Man's suit to discover what mysterio caused some monsters to appear in the Old Continent. That the Webhead entertained audiences worldwide and rode the Endgame wave to make a billion worldwide isn't surprising. Only that following all those profits, Spidey's parents, the one holding the film rights who distributes the movies, and the one related to the comics publisher who produces the films, decided to divorce regarding the child custody conditions, forcing poor Peter to step in and help them make things right before he could never get a trilogy closer for his 59th birthday. Jul. 3 (released)
21 YouTube B-Class article 13,642,305
Youtube App Startup.JPG
It speaks to Youtube's unshakeable permanence in our daily lives that it can shrug off multiple scandals per year, any one of which would kill another company dead. Paragon of virtue Jake Paul was accused of selling gambling to minors; several Youtubers were accused or convicted of dealing in child pornography; its comment sections were accused of fostering paedophilia rings, and then, in what is likely going to be its most lasting debacle, Youtube claimed it didn't need to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, since it wasn't a children's website, whilst simultaneously bragging to advertisers that it was the number one platform among children. After paying out a $120 million settlement for, well, lying, Youtube did what it always does and foisted the responsiblity for its mistakes onto its content creators. Now, any channel that looks like it might appeal to children, even if it doesn't, will be immediately demonetised. Such is the life of a Youtuber. Dec. 11 (expands its anti-harrassment rules)
22 The Mandalorian B-Class article 12,035,150
CCEE 2016 - Mandalorian soilder (26654730310).jpg
People watch so much through streaming (just see all the entries for Netflix and Hulu shows) that all media conglomerates are creating their own services. And Disney+ took advantage from one of the franchises from our Mouse overlords in its launch, namely the first Star Wars live-action series. Pedro Pascal plays a bounty hunter raised by the race of Boba Fett, whose job is eventually distracted by an adorable detour. Unlike the Star Wars movie of the year, The Mandalorian got a positive reception and has already been renewed for a second season. Nov. 13 (shortly after debut)
23 2019 in film Symbol question.svg 11,776,149
Clapboard (191836749).jpeg
As in previous years, some of Wikipedia’s most viewed articles were about hit movies. In addition to articles like Avengers: Endgame, Joker (2019 film), and Captain Marvel (film) (as well as a few non-superhero movies), film releases generated views for their actors (such as Jason Momoa) and subjects (such as Freddie Mercury). A look at the report as well as the end-of-year box office statistics confirms that superheroes had another great year, as did Disney, whose releases accounted for about 30% of 2019 box-office receipts. 2019 was also a big year for streaming services, as high-profile directors like Martin Scorsese took their films to Netflix, while the franchise-based event films that Scorsese decried as "not cinema" continue to be the most effective strategy to get viewers into theaters. Apr. 28 (release of Avengers: Endgame)
24 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Start-Class article 11,704,282
Comic Con Germany 2018 by-RaBoe 124.jpg
There's never been a time a Star Wars movie was released that Wikipedia didn't jump all over it. Each new movie released within Wikipedia's reign, of which there have been four including this one, immediately spiked views to its own article and many articles related to it (although Rogue One had some, uh, confounding factors) and spawned vivid debates, ranging from "should the spoiler be in the article" to "who should be on the starring list". This particular installment came with a split opinion – the critical response utterly lambasted the movie, while audiences loved it. Having seen the movie, that sums it up pretty well. I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone – this was the only one I managed to not have spoiled for me, aside from Rogue One – but what I'll say is this: if you know JJ Abrams' reputation for what he did to The Force Awakens and Star Trek Into Darkness, this movie has a lot of the same issues. Dec. 19 (released)
25 Jason Momoa C-Class article 11,555,910
Jason Momoa Aquaman, Sydney, Australia, 19th Dec, 2018 (45655633484).jpg
Marvel's interconnected movies managed to top our Report, but the attempt at catch-up by their Distinguished Competition (of which our #7 isn't a part of) isn't so lucky, given their only release of the year, Shazam!, couldn't enter the Top 50. Though their movie from December 2018, Aquaman, was so successful that all the views for star Jason Momoa early in the year were enough to buoy him onto two straight lists, when his only acting gigs in 2019 were voicing Aquaman, voicing himself and an Apple+ show. Next year there's a new adaptation of Dune for him. Feb. 25 (wore pink suit at Oscars)
26 India Featured article 11,480,861
Delhi (5581531474).jpg
As the largest country where English is a major language, Indian readers have a major effect on the Top 25 Report week-in and week-out. The pageviews for Wikipedia's article on India were no doubt increased by the general election that took place this year, where Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party strengthened its majority. Other major events that took place in India in 2019 include India's banning of triple talaq; the Citizenship Act, which has been accused of being discriminatory to Muslims and led to widespread protests; and the Indian government's repeal of the state of Jammu and Kashmir's special status (a review of the accompanying internet block was recently ordered by India's supreme court). Oct. 2 (Gandhi Jayanti)
27 Nipsey Hussle C-Class article 11,437,697
Nipsey-Hussle HOBChicago 090430 adam-bielawski (cropped).jpg
2019 had a big addition to the List of murdered hip hop musicians in 33 year old Ermias Joseph Asghedom, AKA Nipsey Hussle, who just one year after releasing an acclaimed debut album, was shot ten times outside a clothes store he owned. Apr. 1 (died)
28 Cristiano Ronaldo B-Class article 11,314,893
CR7 (JUV-LOK).jpg
SIUUUUUU!!!!!! One of the perks of writing for the Report, especially in the year-end edition, is the implicit and unspoken fact that the vast majority of the readership is already familiar with the various entrants to the report. Such is the case with Cristiano Ronaldo, as for those football (fight me Yanks) aficionados, the Portuguese requires no introduction, and for the disinterested, there is nothing I can add, no sporting exploit of such monumental brilliance, that will alter this disinterest. Thus, I am completely unburdened – there are no strings on me. I could mention how the non-phenomenon dragged the Old Lady single-handedly to the quarter-finals of the UCL, only to be bested by Barça Babies, or how he was beaten by an ancient forward for the Golden Boot in his first season in Italy, or how he is still reportedly in low earth orbit following his leap against Sampdoria. Instead, I'm going to briefly sing the praises of the World Champions, Liverpool, who have taken 98 points from the 37 Premier League games they have played this calendar year, last suffering defeat in the competition almost exactly a year ago. In the same time, guided by the gegenpressing genius of Jurgen Klopp, the squad dramatically over-turned a deficit of three goals to dispatch Ronaldo's arch-nemesis from the Champions League en-route to a sixth European Cup, finally putting the historic club back upon their perch. Mar. 13 (scored hat trick against Atlético Madrid)
29 TikTok C-Class article 11,285,825
TikTok Logo.svg
On the clock but the party don't stop. China already makes most of our electronics, so one app they made being embraced everywhere else is to be expected – although, like previous short video platform Vine (with the addition of Musical.ly's lip-synched music), it's hard to find people over 22 who understand TikTok. Not that it stopped a huge year for the app, where it broke the barrier of one billion downloads globally, and revealed the #1 song of the year, "Old Town Road". If you also believe there's no such thing as bad publicity, TikTok being briefly banned in India and being the target of investigations by the US Congress could also be counted as highlights. Apr. 17 (pulled from stores from India)
30 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez B-Class article 11,167,197
GreenNewDeal Presser 020719 (26 of 85) (46105848855) (cropped).jpg
Note: more American politics ahead. Turn back now if you value your sanity

The youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress, and currently the youngest serving congressperson in the House of Representatives (and as such would be the Baby of the House, if the U.S. used that term), Ocasio-Cortez is one of four members of said House unofficially known as the Squad, along with Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. The group is noted for their progressive politics and diverse composition. Ocasio-Cortez in particular is also famous for her prolific use of social media to promote her views and support her fellow colleagues. She is also acquainted with the more negative side of social media, and the media in general: she and her companions have been on the receiving end of several tweetstorms from President Donald Trump (#16), typically revolving around national origin but of several different topics. I'd say she isn't as polarizing as Trump by any means – she even tries not to be, from what I can tell – but then again, nothing that isn't cute puppies is entirely unpolarizing here, apparently.

Jan. 4 (assumed office)
31 Us (2019 film) C-Class article 11,149,839
Couponschaar van Landry & van Till.JPG
Some people don't understand the appeal of horror movies, yet they keep on warranting entries on the annual report. 2017 had three, all of whom got follow-ups of sorts this year – and while It Chapter Two and Glass didn't do enough for audiences to get a spot in the list, Jordan Peele, who won an Oscar for Get Out, managed to return. Not that Us is a sequel, to the surprise of those who think Hollywood only operates on franchises: Peele again shows that for a comedian he is really good at creating spooky stories, this time following a family during the unearthing of murderous doppelgängers clad in red carrying scissors. Critics were impressed, and audiences flocked to theaters for their share of scares, leading to Us grossing over 12 times its budget. Mar. 23 (released)
32 Luke Perry C-Class article 10,705,783
Luke Perry at 2018 San Diego Comic Con International (43096215824).jpg
Stars are called stars for a reason. They're meant to be above us, shining down from their perfect lives; their perfect faces defying the ravages that beset our own, living until eccentric retirement, radiant even at their deaths. But sometimes the world reminds us that they are mortal. Luke Perry had every means to protect himself from the vicious happenstance that defines human life, but human life can be a sniper. Just as there's a reason stars are called stars, there's also a reason strokes are called strokes. They are sudden, and can strike out of nowhere, and take down anyone without warning. And when the former teen idol was so struck at the age of just 52, riding a surge of popularity thanks to a role in the cult series Riverdale, the shock was enough to propel him into this list. A posthumous appearance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (see #19) kept interest up for the remainder of the year. Mar. 4 (died)
33 Elon Musk B-Class article 10,643,849
2019-06-11-tesla-shareholder-meeting-elon-musk.jpg
The world's favourite weed-head had a slightly less eventful 2019 than his annus horribilis the year prior, something reflected in his somewhat diminished stature in the report. Nonetheless, the inventor of PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX continues to captivate the perusers of Wikipedia, including himself, as people attempt to tell if he is Lex Luthor or Bruce Wayne. This year, he focused on the completion of his transition from respected tech mogul to even more respected memelord, releasing a rap tribute to Harambe, reviewing memes with Pewds, planning trips to Roswell, dropping a million on TeamTrees to evolve into Treelon, embracing Baby Yoda, and generally undergoing the singularity as man becomes meme. In terms of his companies, he also saved the precipitous and previously plummeting stock price of his electric car venture with yet more memes, this time in the stronk, blocky, PS1-era polygonal shape of a truck, and launching the Starlink satellite constellation using Falcon 9 rockets with SpaceX, a pioneering attempt to provide satellite internet across the world, allowing everyone to relish his dankness. Nice. Nov. 23 (unveils Tesla Cybertruck)
34 Joaquin Phoenix B-Class article 10,614,160
Joaquin Phoenix red carpet at 76. Venice Film Festival.jpg
For many years, Joaquin Phoenix worked in the shadow of his late brother, River Phoenix, perhaps the single most promising young actor in the history of Hollywood, whose horrific death at the age of just 23 from a speedball overdose Joaquin not only suffered through, but witnessed personally. But an Academy Award nomination for Gladiator in 2000 and another for Walk the Line in 2005 established him as a great actor in his own right. Then, in 2008, he said he retired from acting. Then in 2010 started acting again, a feat only Marlon Brando had accomplished successfully. And then, this year, following a string of modest commercial and critical successes like Her and Inherent Vice, he was cast in Joker, Todd Phillips's attempt to sneak a thematic sequel to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy onto the superhero bandwagon. And boy did it work. The Joker might just join Vito Corleone in the pantheon of fictional characters portrated in Oscar-winning performances by two different actors. I'm willing to bet no one saw that coming in the 70s. Oct. 6 (release of Joker)
35 Dwayne Johnson Good article 10,540,703
Dwayne Johnson 2014(Cropped).jpg
People just love this guy. That's really the only reason he's on here. I mean yes, he got decent spikes for his marriage and for the premiere of Hobbs & Shaw and Jumanji: The Next Level, but other than that, it's just business as usual. Of course, for The Rock, "usual" means 20,000+ views a day. It's entirely possible that he still would have made this list without the spikes. Given the number of projects he has lined up next year, I doubt I'll have the opportunity to test that hypothesis. Aug. 19 (married Lauren Hashian)
36 Elton John C-Class article 10,533,279
Elton John @ Allstate Arena, Chicago 11-30-2013 (11261260064).jpg
The boy from England, Reginald Dwight, the bitch who is back with a certain sartorial eloquence about his razor face, appears on this list here today due to that movie which garnered positive reviews from critics earlier this year. Later in the year, John released his autobiography, titled Me, vividly recounting his life in a wild manner accurate to the times it tells of. He may never have reached the drug consumption of Keith Richards, but his collection of spectacles is certainly otherworldly. Jun. 2 (shortly after release of Rocketman)
37 Lady Gaga Featured article 10,522,892
Lady Gaga SAG 2019.jpg
In 2008, a girl named Stefani Germanotta released her debut album, and more than a decade later, the singer who took her name from one song our #4 sang certainly had a career as varied and successful as that of her idol Madonna, and not just because she possibly ripped her off once. And now Gaga has one-upped Madonna by getting attention from the Academy Awards (while Madge only was recognized by the polar opposite), as A Star Is Born earned her a nomination for Best Actress and an eventual Best Song win for "Shallow", which not only added to her ever-growing list of awards but to Gaga's list of number one singles. And her unconventional work – "I Perform This Way-hey, I perform this way-hey, I'm always deviating from the norm this way-hey..." – might only resume in 2020, as she continues a residency in Vegas and is preparing her next album. Feb. 25 (won Best Song Oscar)
38 Murder of Dee Dee Blanchard C-Class article 10,345,847
Patricia Arquette (2018) (cropped).jpg
Not to be outdone by Netflix, Hulu also makes acclaimed original programming based on true facts that subsequently drives viewers to Wikipedia. In this case, true crime series The Act, whose first season revolved around a case where arguably the victim had it coming: Dee Dee Blanchard (portrayed by Patricia Arquette, pictured) regularly abused her daughter Gypsy Rose (played by Joey King) by fabricating illness and disabilities onto her; after 24 years being controlled to appear disabled and chronically ill, down to being subjected to unnecessary surgery and medication, Gypsy Rose eventually had enough, and got together with an online boyfriend to plan her mother's death. Mar. 21 (after release of The Act)
39 Queen (band) B-Class article 10,179,484
Queen band.jpg
The band of opera and hard rock, of waltz and ballad, Queen makes an appearance on this list in partnership with its late frontman Freddie Mercury (#4), most likely as a holdout from last year's motion picture featuring Rami Malek (#43) as Mercury. The film received praise for Malek's acting and its musical aspects, but criticism for the historical liberties taken in the screenplay and its portrayal of Mercury's sexuality. It received several awards and nominations, setting the all-time box office record for the biopic genre. With all that said, there's only one thing left to say:

AYYY-OH!

Feb. 25 (performed at the Oscars)
40 Cameron Boyce C-Class article 10,136,700
Dove Cameron and Cameron Boyce talking about Descendants 2 (cropped).jpg
Celebrities die and get high views on Wikipedia, that's natural. Yet sometimes the attention is more for the death being unexpected and shocking than the person's body of work, such as with Cameron Boyce. A former child actor with mostly Disney Channel productions in his resume, he only broke into this list because epilepsy took his life at the meager age of 20. People like Rutger Hauer, Karl Lagerfeld, Ric Ocasek and Marie Fredriksson might've been more understandable entries, but go figure our readers. Jul. 7 (died)
41 The Lion King (2019 film) C-Class article 10,116,250 Everyone keeps saying they hate these Disney live-action remakes. So why do we keep paying to see them? The Lion King was soulless and creepy? Not enough, apparently, to keep it from earning nearly $1.7 billion worldwide. Will Smith's genie looked like an uncanny valley nightmare and was an insult to the legacy of Robin Williams? That movie cracked a billion worldwide too. Even Dumbo, which was considered a major flop, still made $350 million. And now there's a whole slew of pretenders in the pipeline. So get ready for a live-action Lilo and Stitch and Hunchback of Notre Dame. No I'm not kidding. Jul. 20 (released)
42 Bonnie and Clyde B-Class article 10,093,049
Bonnieclyde f.jpg
50 years after that classic movie with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, again the film industry brings attention to the outlaw couple from the 1930s. Only this time it wasn't in theaters and focusing on them: Netflix production The Highwaymen centered around Texas Rangers Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) during their manhunt. And given some long and slow stretches in the movie itself, it was all the more excuse for viewers to open their phones/tablets/laptops and discover what Bonnie and Clyde did before the ambush that riddled them with dozens of bullets. Mar. 31 (sometime after The Highwaymen)
43 Rami Malek Good article 10,052,003
Rami Malek 2018.jpg
Completing the entries boosted by the runaway success of Bohemian Rhapsody, main star Rami Malek, who was not intimidated in filling in the big shoes and teeth of Freddie and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his efforts. 2019 also served to finish off the series that gave Malek a breakout role, Mr. Robot, and for him to take part in the next James Bond movie, No Time to Die, where he'll be the villain. Feb. 25 (won Oscar)
44 The Irishman C-Class article 10,038,172
Martin Scorsese (8250485096).jpg
The director of the greatest mob movies not about the Corleones teaming up with the three foremost actors of the genre to tell a three-and-a-half hour epic about the infamous disappearance of union organiser Jimmy Hoffa by the hands of my eponymous infamous compatriot. What could possibly go wrong? As it transpires, not much. The film, distributed and streamed courtesy of Netflix worldwide lives up to the billing, and appears set to jostle with #7 and #20 for the bulk of the major awards in the forthcoming awards season, so rapturous is its reception. In the first half of the film, Scorsese presents a somewhat conventional, if expertly executed take, on the mob movie formula he helped popularise, recounting the intertwined tales of Sheeran, Hoffa, and Russell Bufalino, but it is towards the end of the film where the source of all the praise and poignancy of the film manifests itself, with the fabled director ruminating on aging and transforming an ostensibly straight-forward tale of organised crime into a powerful reflection on aging and the consequences of the lives we elect to lead. The characters are complex and captivating, the production design is stellar, the editing is effortless, and the much talked about de-aging technology, besides a few scenes, is implemented to impressive and adept effect, though to be fair the bar which must be exceeded by computer generated imagery is considerably lower in a post-Cats universe. Nov. 28 (released on Netflix)
45 Marvel Cinematic Universe Good article 9,972,924
Iron Man Repulsors (14041559344).jpg
It's been 12 years since Marvel Studios' unprecedented project began. I'd like to say it changed Hollywood, except that every other studio's attempt to replicate its success has so far either failed comically or underperformed. Unless it cohabits with Riverdale or stars Vera Farmiga. The Marvel Universe now stands at a crossroads; the great narrative it began in 2008 is over. Thanks to the decade's true entertainment revolution, much of the next phase will debut on Disney+, further blurring the line between cinema and television. The great climax to this next phase is currently under wraps. The next movie in the series is a prequel, and so could be seen as the last in the current line, rather than the first of the new era. We will have to wait until November to see how the next step is received. But even if it goes well, the real cliffhanger posed by its success isn't whether Thanos comes back, but whether cinema, at least in theatres, can survive as a medium. Jul. 21 (San Diego Comic-Con)
46 Scarlett Johansson Featured article 9,936,524
Scarlett Johansson in Kuwait 01b-tweaked.jpg
After a striking breakthrough in Lost in Translation, Scarlett Johansson seemed to settle into a steady, somewhat one-note groove, establishing a career as the sexual fantasy of every acclaimed indie director in Hollywood. However, her public image never dimmed, and, thanks to a standing obligation as Black Widow in the MCU, she became the most lucrative actress in Hollywood history (and grabbed the single most tear-jerking moment in Avengers: Endgame). This year may be when she finally regains some of her acting cred, with a difficult turn in the dark comedy Jojo Rabbit and a Golden Globe nomination for Marriage Story. On top of that, this year she got engaged for the third time, to Saturday Night Live cast member Colin Jost, cementing an already longstanding connection to the show. May 20 (announced engagement to Colin Jost)
47 Bradley Cooper Featured article 9,894,395
Bradley Cooper (29670048877).jpg
After years in supporting roles, Bradley Cooper broke out in 2009 with The Hangover, and a decade later is undeniably a big Hollywood star. While during 2019 his only role was a voice one, namely a furry psycho in our #1 (he also co-produced our #7, directed by the same Todd Phillips of The Hangover), Cooper owes his entry in this year's report due to his late 2018 directorial debut A Star Is Born, a smash hit which gave him Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Actor and Screenplay. He didn't win any, but still had a highlight of the Oscars by performing the movie's big hit "Shallow" alongside co-star Lady Gaga (#37), which eventually brought the song to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and also later made Cooper a Grammy winner. On top of all this, Cooper split with the supermodel who gave him a son, raising rumors that he was about to re-enact the movie's couple with Gaga. Feb. 25 (sang at the Oscars)
48 2019 Indian general election C-Class article 9,862,551
PM Modi Portrait(cropped).jpg
The largest-ever election in the world, with over 67% of the 900 million people eligible to vote casting their ballots to choose the representatives in India's Parliament (or rather, one of its houses). Such big numbers led to an election lasting over a month, and 39 of the 650 contesting parties managed to get one of 545 seats of the Lok Sabha, the majority of which ended up with the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured). May 23 (counting ended)
49 Central Park jogger case B-Class article 9,787,829
Trisha Meili.jpg
As you will surely be aware having made it this far into the Report, media consumption and the use of Wikipedia as a second screen whilst viewing digital content, especially through Netflix and especially concerning real-life affairs, is one of the primary drivers of traffic on Wikipedia. Such was the case with When They See Us, a poignant and powerful mini-series produced by Ava DuVernay revisiting the infamous rape of Trisha Meili in Central Park in 1989 from the perspective of the five teenage minorities wrongly prosecuted and sentenced for it. The four-part series drew critical acclaim and extended its clout with a flurry of Emmy nominations, especially the final episode focused on the plight of Korey Wise, who served additional time for his refusal to acquiesce and admit penance and remorse for a crime he was not culpable of, an episode which netted a statuette for Jharrel Jerome, and helped cement the show as a challenging, but undeniably important and ergo must-watch series. As for a brief synopsis of the case it drove such heavy traffic to: the "Central Park Five", as they would become known, were allegedly subject to abuse in lengthy police interrogations which did not follow protocol, then were convicted based on a confession extracted through coercion. They were sent to prison amidst a campaign for capital punishment led by Donald Trump, a campaign which in hindsight was frankly barbaric, and remained there until either parole was granted, or in Wise's case, until the true culprit – a seasoned serial rapist – confessed to the crime. The quintet received compensation for the racial discrimination and unlawful detention they suffered, despite the protestations of the victim that they were still involved in the heinous crime perpetrated against her. Jun. 2 (shortly after When They See Us release)
50 Kamala Harris B-Class article 9,758,582
Kamala Harris (48626160723).jpg
As if this list wasn't already filled with American politics, here's one last politician to round it off. The Democratic field of candidates could easily be mistaken for a one-upping of the similarly ridiculous Republican collection of the last election, and this Senator from California populated said field until December 3, 2019. Harris's candidacy was somewhat of a long-shot – although the USA is theoretically filed with equal rights (although Britain has more hope and glory, unless you happen to be attending a school graduation), a glance at the historical presidents and their ranks' unfortunate plethora of white-maleness shows that a progressive African-American female didn't have too much of a chance. Harris did well in the debates, but alas, it was not to be – falling polling numbers and shrinking donations were the nails in the coffin. Jun. 28 (first Democractic debate)

Exclusions

  • These lists exclude 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 exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% 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 Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.