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  LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

Pangrams and Movies

Take a look at the Top-13 movies of the U.S. Box Office for this past weekend:
  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. A Haunted House
  3. Gangster Squad
  4. Django Unchained
  5. Les Misérables
  6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  7. Lincoln
  8. Parental Guidance
  9. Texas Chainsaw 3D
  10. Silver Linings Playbook
  11. Jack Reacher
  12. This is 40
  13. Life of Pi

The combined titles of these movies are pangrammic; every letter of the alphabet is accounted for. This ties the record for Top-N movies being pangrammic (no smaller value of N has ever yielded pangrammic combined titles). At least it ties it for the past 30 years or so... as far back as I can cull the data. Top-13-pangrammacity has occurred twice before during that span. The most recent was over eighteen years ago when, for the week of 23 September 1994, these movies were tops:

  1. TimeCop
  2. Terminal Velocity
  3. Forrest Gump
  4. Quiz Show
  5. Clear And Present Danger
  6. Natural Born Killers
  7. The Mask
  8. True Lies
  9. Milk Money
  10. Corrina, Corrina
  11. The Next Karate Kid
  12. The Little Rascals
  13. Jason's Lyric
The only other time the Top-13 movies were pangrammic was over seven years before that, during the week of 10 July 1987, when we got:
  1. Revenge of the Nerds II
  2. Full Metal Jacket
  3. Dragnet
  4. Adventures in Babysitting
  5. Innerspace
  6. The Witches of Eastwick
  7. Beverly Hills Cop II
  8. Spaceballs
  9. The Untouchables
  10. Roxanne
  11. Predator
  12. Benji the Hunted
  13. The Squeeze
The latest batch of movies, here in Januray 2013, is quite interesting in that it is almost a pangrammic Top-10 (which would have handily broken the past records). Only one letter is lacking in the first ten titles... and it is not any of the usual suspects. It is not the Q, Z, X, or J that is missing. Surprisingly, it's the F. It barely sneaked in with The Life Of Pi. That movie crept up last week after getting an "Oscar-nomination bump" from the previous week's news. A similar bump got the only V into the countdown with Silver Linings Playbook jumping to #10. Also note that if the film This Is 40 had spelled out "Forty", we would have had a new record with Top-12.

Who knows, maybe the record can be beaten if those movies continue to inch upward... but already we're on the verge of losing the W (Texas Chainsaw 3D is falling fast). Oh, the perturbations of a movie-loving-pangrammist...

-- Eric

[14 January 2013]
   
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