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50 Biggest Movie Fandoms

Silent Cinema

The Era: A weird one, this. Most fan obsessions centre on particular characters or stories, but for a certain type of person, they love nothing more than swapping dialogue for inter-titles, and a synchronised score for a live accompaniment - regardless of whether the film is a slapstick comedy, a sci-fi epic or a Soviet propaganda piece.

The Fandom: Forever trying to decide what speed to play the film at or arguing about what level of tinting is acceptable.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: The archival adventurers who scour the globe looking for priceless reels of long-lost footage such as the full version of Metropolis found in Buenos Aires in 2008.

The X-Files

The Franchise: The paranormal investigation show was such a hit during the 1990s - especially amongst its hardcore fanbase - that it warranted a spin-off movie. However, by the time of 2008 sequel I Want To Believe , the zeitgeist had moved on.

The Fandom: Mimicking the on-screen characterisation of conspiracy theorists the Lone Gunmen, X-Files aficionados tend to be uber-geeks: ultra-serious about the show, but not necessarily about how they display their dedication.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: For fear of sounding uncharitable, anybody who actually made it through the final, largely Mulder-less final seasons deserves acknowledgement.

Gone With The Wind

The Film: Imma let Avatar finish, but this remains the most successful movie of ALL TIME.

The Fandom: According to the director of a museum dedicated to the film, fans - known as Windies - tend to be middle-aged women or gay men.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: Georgia resident Selina Faye Sorrow has turned her entire home into a homage to GWTW , with over 500 items of memorabilia including a seat from the cinema where the 1939 premiere was held.

Spider-man

The Franchise: Marvel's most iconic creation has thrived by being a teenage superhero, mirroring the character's mostly adolescent audience. Trouble is: what happens when an actor gets too old to convincingly play young?

The Fandom: Chuffed to bits that fellow fan Sam Raimi got the gig in the Noughties, but increasingly frustrated at the attitude of the studio for a) overloading Spider-man 3 with villains and b) dumping Raimi in favour of a superfluous reboot.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: Er, this .

Studio Ghibli

The Franchise: If the name wasn't obvious enough, we reiterate: Ghibli is a studio, not a franchise. Yet its output, especially the films of co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, are so consistent in theme, style and quality that it is justly revered as a single body of work.

The Fandom: In Japan, Ghibli is a mainstream phenomenon that regularly smashes box office records. The Western world was slower on the uptake, thanks to poor distribution, leading to a two-tier split between the early adopters and the later, post- Spirited Away converts.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: Biologists who discovered a new species of velvet worm in Vietnam have named it Eoperipatus totoro in homage to Miyazaki's most famous creation.

Highlander

The Franchise: Most assumed that The Quickening , the much-despised sequel to the original movie, had killed off any appreciation for the tale of sword-wielding immortals. But they hadn't factored on the TV spin-off to keep the flame alive.

The Fandom: Taking the story's advice that "there can be only one" quite literally, most fans tend to favour the series over the films, largely because of that bloody sequel.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: Anybody who buys a replica Highlander sword, on the off-chance that an immortal might need decapitating.

Scarface

The Film: Brian De Palma's remake of the Howard Hawks gangster classic knows no restraint in performance (a never-shoutier Al Pacino), music (D-I-S-C-O overload from Giorgio Moroder) and violence.

The Fandom: Scarface's excess and rags-to-riches fairytale have become the touchstone for gangsta rappers and wannabes ever since. See James Franco's character in Spring Breakers for a withering parody of the type.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: Rapper Rick Ross, whose lyrical obsession with the film give the impression that he thinks he's the actual Tony Montana.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The Franchise: You never know what gold is buried in a movie. Nobody really rated the Kristy Swanson horror-comedy on release, but since it paved the way for writer Joss Whedon's TV reboot, it's become the touchstone for a major cult following.

The Fandom: What is it about Joss Whedon's output that encourages such fiercely combative fans? Taking their cue from the story's kick-ass heroine, the Buffy faithful frequently got into flame wars with rival factions - notably fans of Whedon's other show of the time, Angel .

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: Henry Burrows directed a 20 minute fan film, Fluffy The English Vampire Slayer , which even has its own entry on the Internet Movie Database.

Blade Runner

The Film: Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi noir was practically invented to separate the geeks from the popcorn-munchers, not only for its immaculate style and weighty themes but for the fact that Scott couldn't stop tinkering with it for 25 years.

The Fandom: The classic case of a film which went from flop to classic because of the sheer noise generated by a vocal minority in its praise. These days, however, they're more likely to be found arguing over whether Deckard is a replicant or not.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: A group of fans took it upon themselves to translate Cityspeak, the slang spoken in the film by Edward James Olmos which the actor cannibalised from several foreign languages.

Sherlock Holmes

The Franchise: There are plenty of big-screen Holmes to choose from, from Basil Rathbone's Nazi-fighting detective to Robert Downey Jr's bare-knuckle geezer, but ultimately all eyes are on the original character as depicted in Arthur Conan Doyle's stories.

The Fandom: Loyal - The Sherlock Holmes Society and The Baker Street Irregulars are the longest running fan societies in this list.

Most Amazing Example Of Devotion: "The Game" - the ongoing pastime of pretending that Holmes and Watson were real people in order to explain biographical gaps not clarified by Conan Doyle.