Anglophile (noun): “a person who greatly admires or favors England and things English.” (Merriam-Webster)
The term certainly applies to 2017, as seen through the lens of the English Wikipedia’s readers. This year, millions used the free encyclopedia to learn more Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and the engagement of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Anglophilia also feeds into into this year’s other theme: television and film, via The Crown and Victoria. In just the top 25 most-viewed articles, people visited Wikipedia over 200 million times to learn about the newest shows or as a second screen.
The list “speaks to the power that entertainment now holds over us,” says Wikipedia editor Stormy clouds, a volunteer Wikipedia editor and a member of Wikipedia’s Top 25 team, who helped compile a larger top 50 most-viewed list with commentary. They were struck by “the terrific power of Netflix,” which via The Crown helped power Queen Elizabeth to the third-highest view count of the year, and believes that her “continued strong performance should act to dispel the myth that no one cares about the monarchy.”
To be fair, however, the monarchy’s popularity is not solely limited to the queen. The second screen effect is easily discernible from pageviews to the articles on Queen Victoria and Victoria the TV series. Both had jumps each week when people tuned in to watch the show on TV—and pointed their second screens at Wikipedia.
Piling on top of all this, Markle’s article came in fifth—and although we’ve limited this list to 25 entries, Queen Elizabeth’s sister Margaret came in 37th, and Elizabeth’s husband came in 44th. Both, like Elizabeth, were featured on The Crown in its most recent season.
Outside Britain, the strength of India broke through in the realm of film: the most-viewed article about a film this year was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. The film has seen extremely levels of popularity since being released last April—with over 105 million tickets sold, it quickly became the highest-grossing film ever in India ever by what can only be described as a ludicrous margin. Baahubali 2 has made over ₹17.065 billion on a budget of ₹2.5 billion.
Wonder Woman flexed its muscles as well, placing both it, its leading star, and the ensemble Justice League film in the top 25. This may have been apparent as soon as June, where the first two articles were the most popular of the month. Classicfilms, who helped author the English Wikipedia’s article on Wonder Woman, told our own Samir Elsharbaty back then that:
[Patty Jenkins, the film’s director] decided to focus on inclusivity as a way to work through the various complications of gender that seemed to stall the film for two decades. Her vision appears to have worked, particularly with that segment of the population who either grew up reading comic books or playing games related to these comic characters, and I think most would agree, that this is a tough crowd.
The top 25 most-read articles on Wikipedia in the year 2017 follow. Our grateful thanks go to researcher Andrew West for collating the data, and to the Top 25 team for their work in verifying the entries that appear here.
- Deaths in 2017, 37,387,010 views
- Donald Trump, 29,644,764
- Elizabeth II, 19,290,956
- Game of Thrones (season 7), 18,792,746
- Meghan Markle, 16,944,130
- Game of Thrones, 16,833,302
- List of Bollywood films of 2017, 16,391,427
- United States, 15,763,915
- Bitcoin, 15,026,561
- 13 Reasons Why, 14,934,202
- Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, 14,607,282
- It (2017 film), 14,539,123
- Queen Victoria, 14,164,451
- List of highest-grossing Indian films, 14,091,348
- Gal Gadot, 14,034,958
- Logan (film), 14,030,384
- Millennials, 13,417,915
- Riverdale (2017 TV series), 13,360,398
- 2017 in film, 13,298,613
- Stranger Things, 13,132,129
- Wonder Woman (2017 film), 13,062,375
- Dwayne Johnson, 12,444,987
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 12,442,644
- Justice League (film), 12,048,341
- Elon Musk, 11,968,362
- Two years ago, we asked if the dominance of film in that list was the harbinger of things to come. The answer appears to be yes … and no. While film is much more prominent now, TV is holding its own thanks in no small part to Netflix (#10, 20, partial credit for 3) and Game of Thrones.
- Film articles on this list: #7, 11, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24.
- Film and television take between 14 and 16 spots, depending on how you count Queens Elizabeth and Victoria.
- Deaths in <year> has been the most-read article in all but one year we’re published this list.
- Page views to Donald Trump, the most popular article last year, fell by more than 45 million.
- Only two articles on the list, Deaths in 2017 and 2017 in film, had less than half of their pageviews comes from mobile devices.
- Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Stranger Things also placed 10th and 20th, respectively.
- Victoria‘s first season aired last year, but was shown in the United States early in 2017; its second season appeared later in the year.
- Amusingly, that list of highest-grossing films in India was itself one of the English Wikipedia’s most popular articles of the year.
- As with every year we’ve done this, the top articles include the percentage of mobile views for screening purposes. However, we’ve upped the percentages to remove articles with less than 10% or more than 90% mobile views, as it almost always indicates that a significant amount of the pageviews stemmed from spam, botnets, or other errors. Beyond that, we’ve agreed with the Top 25 team’s decision to remove several entries with unclear reasons for their high popularity, like AMGTV, Lali Espósito, and “XXX.” This year’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage was popular, for example, but its release does not track with a major increase in popularity for XXX. The other two are standard removals in the Top 25’s weekly lists, with Espósito in particular having a strange percentage of views from mobile and Wikipedia Zero. You can see the full list and the cleaned list over on Wikipedia.
- Wikipedians chronicle the deaths by month, so the page now redirects to a “list of lists of deaths.” This year’s list has already been started at deaths in 2018.
Ed Erhart, Senior Editorial Associate, Communications
Like what you’ve read? You can see a list of 2017’s most-edited English Wikipedia articles and previous most-viewed lists from 2016 and 2015. Most-viewed English Wikipedia articles of each week are available through the Top 25 Report.
This post has been updated to clarify that there were 200 million pageviews to film and television articles in the top 25—a figure that does not necessarily equate to the number of people visiting those articles.