The top inflight movies of 2018 may surprise you

Buckle your seat belt, fasten your tray table and … start watching “Rampage”?

That’s right, the second most-watched movie on Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment this year features an albino gorilla who turns into a raging, enormous creature.

In fact, the top 10 movies chosen among hundreds of choices were mostly hard-hitting, action-packed releases:

Most watched inflight movies of 2018

  1. Oceans 8
  2. Rampage
  3. The Post
  4. Ready Player One
  5. Murder on the Orient Express
  6. Battle of the Sexes
  7. Wonder Woman
  8. Love, Simon
  9. Justice League
  10. Blade Runner 2049

If you were expecting comforting, feel-good classics to be most popular at 35,000 feet, you’re not alone. But the results aren’t surprising among cinema buffs: the most popular movie genres in North America, by box office revenue, are consistently Adventure and Action.

There may also be a scientific explanation for why we crave those nail-biting thrillers – even while flying.

According to a popular theory, we watch intense movies to intentionally trigger our fight-or-flight response in an environment where we control the variables. If we’re able to experience anxiety in a controlled way, the theory goes, the more we’re able to deal with real-world stressors.

We know flying can be stress-inducing for many. For some of our guests, a little “Oceans 8,” “Rampage” or “Blade Runner 2049” may actually help take the edge off. For others, our best-in-industry inflight entertainment features over 500 TV and movie titles to choose from.

Pro tip: Download the Gogo® Entertainment App before you fly to start watching free movies more quickly onboard.

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  1. I enjoy the movies. My feedback is that the movie choice–i.e., what the customer ends up watching might have to do with the actual length of the movie vs. the time remaining (flight duration). When I first started watching movies I always picked what movies I wanted or liked. But inevitability, the movie has to be shut down due to landing and the final 15, 20, or 25 minutes (i.e. the conclusion! the answer! the suspense!) are missed. Sad! Talk about major suspense and not knowing what’s going on for weeks! (well, if this is a new movie never seen before, that is). Then one time I had to come back and finish the movie on a different flight (took 20 minutes), but I had only 1 hour left after that–so, start another movie but only watch half way?? No! I can’t go through that suspense again!

    Anyway, my thought is – Maybe a good blend of long and short movies will help satisfy the many different flight lengths 🙂

    1. I am saying – when you read the data on what customers are watching (or watched), keep in mind that what the customers watched might not be what they wanted or liked to watch–instead, they picked that movie only because it was one that will fit into the duration of the flight. That’s what I ended up doing as well — only pick the movie that I know I can finish for the flight that I am on. 🙂

      1. Good feedback. Thanks, Charles!

  2. Million Miler here. Thanks for the free player, however the choices just don’t refresh often enough on that format to keep my interest. Much better if I use my own device and stream from your expanded choice of both old and new movies. Finding “Young Frankenstein” in the offerings was a complete surprise and I laughed all the way to HNL. THANK YOU!

    1. Thanks for the feedback. To let you into our process a bit, our Inflight Entertainment team looks at customer viewing stats when choosing the 5 new release movies and to refresh the majority of our TV show lineup each month. You are absolutely right in noticing there’s much more variety (over 250 movies) when streaming Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment on your own device.

  3. I chime the irony, but for me, my feeling is that almost all of the “new” releases on Alaska Air are of the “action” genre. I fly Alaska about #65K-70K each year and I, too, felt that the 2018 assortment was the least satisfying to date. I would encourage Alaska to look at the balance of the genres, particularly in new releases and at least statistically offer a similar ratio. However, I will mention that your short film collection is quite satisfying *particularly* when I’ve finished a full-length film and there is not enough time remaining on the flight for another full-length film, but still shy of 2 hours.

    1. Thanks for reaching out. We will continue to be mindful of having a range of genres as we add new movie and TV show titles to our lineup every month. In December, we added over 75 “old favorites” to our selection and are always on the lookout for what’s most popular among our guests.

  4. It’s ironic that you do a story about movies watched and the available list is just the opposite. Very few adventures, almost no Sci-fi and lately where before a whole new list of feature movies and great rotation of popular oldies greeted us frequent travelers, now its often the same list month to month. Definately getting worse in the variety in 2018. Maybe a new year’s resolution to pay more attention to choices and types of movies that are popular versus what you have now.

    1. We make our decisions based on what our guests watch most and appreciate the honest feedback. We will take it into account as we continue to add new titles every month.

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