In an age where Wendy’s 4-for-$4 deal can be described, without irony, as “pretty much the best thing ever” in a tweet that Wendy’s use in its TV advertising, it’s good to have the Guinness World Records on our side. Guinness cares not for your claims of “awesomeness” unless you can back it up with good old, hard, cold numbers.
But as it happens, 2015 really did see a few moments in movies and TV that were genuinely, verifiably record-shattering. Here’s what Guinness drank a beer to in 2015, what the numbers were and who has to settle for second place.
Here are 12 New Movie and TV Records of 2015.
12. Largest film stunt explosion (Spectre)
Minor spoilers here, but this movie’s been out long enough. When James Bond and the love of his life, the winsome young What’s-Her-Name, escape SPECTRE’s massive desert HQ, they blow it up real good. The real-life, no-CGI explosion, filmed in Erfound, Morocco, used 2,224 gallons of fuel and 73 pounds of explosives, beating out the previous record-holder, the aptly named 1994 film Blown Away.
Bond films are prepared to go to all kinds of extremes, and two others still hold records for stunts: the biggest longboat jump in 1973’s Live and Let Die and the most cannon rolls in a car for 2006’s Casino Royale.
11. Shortest time to report the weather from all 50 states (Al Roker)
Al Roker makes his own rules. The sprightly, spry 61-year-old weathercaster set a record for the second year in a row. In 2014, he had done the weather for 34 hours straight: last year, he conducted a whistle-stop tour that allowed him to report on the weather from all 50 states in just 7 days.
Like the first “Rokerthon,” this one was for a good cause, raising money for Feeding America. Last time, he broke a record set by a Norwegian weathercaster, this time around, there doesn’t seem to have been anybody crazy enough to have even attempted what he’s done.
10. Longest-running “football” show (Match of the Day)
This one is a bit tricky. In the U.K., as in most of the world, what they call “football” is what we in America call “soccer.” (Apologies if you’re a non-American reading this paragraph, but we need some point of reference to discuss this.) So do we measure their “football programmes” against what we’d call soccer programs, or what we’d call football programs?
It doesn’t really matter, as Match of the Day is now more than 50 years old (starting with a London-exclusive broadcast in 1964) which handily beats its closest U.S. competitor, Monday Night Football, which began in 1970.
9. Longest-serving TV judge (Judge Judy)
Judith Sheindlin, known for her no-nonsense demeanor and swift verdicts, retired as a family court judge in 1996, but her real career was just getting started. She took her approach to television and has now been right there for over 20 years. Beneath her firmly balanced manner is a passion to make the system work, which makes her one of television’s more reassuring presences, even as the sense of entitlement in some of her cases leave us shaking our heads.
8. Most-viewed movie trailer in 24 hours (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
We moviegoers do want some originality, but nothing generates online excitement like safe-bet sequel blockbusters. Even The Avengers was more or less a sequel to Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Iron Man, and the previous record-holder of this title was Avengers: Age of Ultron. And a Star Wars trailer that promised a return to the series’ glory days with a two-second appearance of Han and Chewie (and some rollicking aerial action from the Millennium Falcon), well, that’s about as safe a bet as you get.
7. Fastest-growing celebrity on Twitter (Caitlyn Jenner)
While Barack Obama took five hours to reach 1 million followers on Twitter in May, Caitlyn Jenner did it in four in June. Caitlyn’s coming out was one of the biggest entertainment stories in all of 2015, with her previous claims to fame – Olympic medals, membership in the Kardashian clan – eclipsed by her status as the most famous openly transgender woman in the world.
While others have surely done more to be worthy of that title, it makes her a symbol not only to other trans women and trans men, but to other misunderstood minorities as well. In light of that, her thoughts matter.
6. Most selfies with different people (Patrick Peterson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson)
Of course, sometime social media is just pure dumb fun. On the week of Super Bowl XLIX, Patrick Peterson, with the help of NBC sports, set a record with 1,449 selfies in an hour, beating Mark E. Miller’s previous 355. The Rock went for speed, promoting the London premiere of his film San Andreas with 105 selfies in three minutes (a new record category).
Those records sound easy to beat unless you understand that there has to be a different person (or group of people) in each consecutive shot, with no blurring and no face-cropping. It wasn’t the first record for the Rock, who was the highest-paid actor for a first starring role with his 2002 film The Scorpion King.
5. Most consecutive Academy of Country Music Award wins, Female Vocalist of the Year (Miranda Lambert)
Lambert solidified her streak with another win this year, making six in a row, which beats out the two three-in-a-row winners, Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride. The release of her new album, Platinum, seems like a sly, winking acknowledgment to Lambert’s overall awards dominance: she also won Album and Song of the Year at the same awards, snagged Collaborative Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards, continued another six-time Female Vocalist of the Year streak at the Country Music Association Awards, and took home a Grammy for Best Album.
4. Longest dance relay marathon (Beyoncé-thon)
MTV set up a “Break the Record Week” and went after multiple entries in Guinness, also winning for Most Items in a Time Capsule. But its most notable achievement recalled the channel’s origins as a home for music videos, as it broadcast a 24-hour dance marathon to Beyoncé Knowles’ discography.
The dance took place in Times Square, New York City, from 11:00 p.m. ET Monday, March 9, to 11:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 10. Knowles herself was not directly involved (not even a surprise appearance at the end), but at least gave the event a friendly shout-out on Facebook. As you do.
3. Largest TV drama simulcast (Game of Thrones)
The record for largest TV simulcast was broken twice in 2015, leaving the previous champion, Doctor Who, in third place. On March 4, “World CSI Day,” the CSI episode that served as the backdoor pilot for CSI: Cyber, “Kitty,” appeared in 171 countries. But about five weeks later, “The Wars to Come,” which was the fifth-season premiere of Game of Thrones reached 173.
Game of Thrones didn’t do it to beat the record, though, but because it was already the unfortunate record-holder of “most pirated TV program.” To put this in proper perspective, there are only 196 countries in the world today, and three of them don’t even have television.
2. Most Emmys in one season (Game of Thrones)
This season also saw Game of Thrones rack up the most Emmys ever won in a single year, 12, dethroning the last decade’s game of Oval Office, The West Wing, which had taken 9 in its first year. GoT has 43 overall, an average of 8 per season, so it was always in danger of taking the honor.
This year’s wins were for Outstanding Make-Up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic); Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series; Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program; Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series; Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Scripted Series; Outstanding Special Visual Effects; Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series and Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.
1. Fastest movie to $1 billion (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
At the start of this year, the fastest movie to gross $1 billion was a three-way tie: The Avengers, Avatar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, all crossing the threshold after 19 days in theaters. (Movie revenue reporting isn’t granular enough to say which one did it in 18 days and 7 hours and which did it in 18 and 14.) In a summer where most pundits were betting on Avengers: Age of Ultron to set new records, it was Furious 7 who broke that record with 17 days, and then Jurassic World broke it with 13.
But Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed in 12, even without the benefit of the Chinese market, where it only just opened. TFA also won the honor of the highest-grossing film ever—but not until this year. So now you have a spoiler for next year’s world records roundup… assuming, of course, that nothing comes along to outdo Star Wars between now and then.
Any other records that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!