The most searched for movies of 2021

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·4-min read
Movies drove a ton of searches on Yahoo in 2021 (Warner Bros./Universal/Sony Pictures)
Movies drove a ton of searches on Yahoo in 2021 (Warner Bros./Universal/Sony Pictures)

With cinemas returning to near full-strength in 2021, Hollywood studios unleashed a barrage of blockbusters into cinemas in the hope of recouping the losses of a pandemic struck 2020.

This reignited a flurry of interest in movies, driving millions of online searches on Yahoo. Our data boffins have dug into the billions of searches undertaken by Yahoo users to reveal the most searched-for movies of 2021.

10: Nomadland

A still from Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
A still from Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

After being named Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards, this low-budget drama quickly became the most talked-about — and searched for — film of the moment.

Read more: The best movies of 2021

The moving portrait of a woman who lives her life out of her camper van made its debut on Disney+ in the UK not long after its Oscar win, which meant we didn't have long to wait to find out what the fuss was about.

9: Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Tom Hardy returns to the role of journalist Eddie Brock and the titular symbiote in 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage'. (Sony/Marvel)
Tom Hardy returns to the role of journalist Eddie Brock and the titular symbiote in 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage'. (Sony/Marvel)

Tom Hardy remained box office catnip on 2021, and the supervillain sequel to his 2018 smash generated a lot of buzz online. It translated into another hit for Hardy, even if the critics turned their noses up, just like they did with his previous Marvel movie.

8: Cruella

Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney's live-action CRUELLA. (Disney)

Emma Stone's live action Disney prequel revealed the evil origins of the iconic 101 Dalmatians villain. Skipping cinemas entirely, it debuted simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+ prompting many searches online for how people could watch at home.

7: Black Widow

Black Widow will launch simultaneously in cinemas and IMAX, and on Disney+ with Premier Access on 9 July.
Black Widow will launch simultaneously in cinemas and IMAX, and on Disney+ with Premier Access on 9 July.

Another Disney film that launched at home and in cinemas on the same day was Scarlett Johansson's long-awaited solo Black Widow film. As the first Marvel movie since the pandemic threw a spanner in the works of the MCU, expectations were high for this one, driving a ton of search online.

6: Justice League

Batman and Wonder Woman enlist a team capable of protecting the world (Warner Bros)
Batman and Wonder Woman enlist a team capable of protecting the world (Warner Bros)

It wasn't the dreadful 2017 Justice League, beloved by no-one, that drove buzz online in 2021. It was the long-awaited — and at times mythical — Zack Snyder cut of the film that finally saw the the light of day, albeit via a streaming-only release. Its hardcore fans never lost faith though, and details of the original version were hot topics online.

5: The Suicide Squad

Idris Elba and King Shark in The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros)
Idris Elba and King Shark in The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros)

Another DC property that drove many searches online was James Gunn's sorta reboot, The Suicide Squad. The Guardians of the Galaxy director, snapped up by the rival comic book studio during his brief exile from Marvel, applied his trademark zings to DC's dysfunctional team giving us the most fun superhero movie of 2021.

4: Godzilla vs Kong

Godzilla Vs. King Kong (Credit: Warner Bros)
Godzilla Vs. King Kong (Credit: Warner Bros)

The two iconic monsters proved they still had what it takes to mix with the biggest blockbuster franchises of the 21st century with an epic smash down that had to be seen to be believed. With hundreds of years of cinema history between, it's no surprise their legions of fans would be searching for them online still in 2021.

3: The Dig

THE DIG (L-R): CAREY MULLIGAN as EDITH PRETTY, RALPH FIENNES as BASIL BROWN. (LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX © 2021)
THE DIG (L-R): CAREY MULLIGAN as EDITH PRETTY, RALPH FIENNES as BASIL BROWN. (LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX © 2021)

This low budget English drama stands out as a bit of an anomaly on this list dominated by spandex-clad heroes and action-heavy blockbusters. But it was the fascinating true story behind the incredible archaeological discoveries of Sutton Hoo that drove people to search online in a bid to dig up more secrets about this incredible true life tale.

2: Dune

(L-r) Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, and Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure Dune (Warner Bros)
(L-r) Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, and Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure Dune (Warner Bros)

French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve finally delivered the adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel that fans of the 1965 book had been waiting for. Moviegoers were initially desperate to find as many details about Dune as they could online, before it turned to the one question that everyone who saw it searched online: When can I see Dune 2? The answer is 2023.

1: No Time To Die

No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)
No Time To Die hits UK cinemas on 30 September (MGM/Universal Pictures/EON)

At the start of 2020, question marks remained whether the long-delayed 25th James Bond film would ever see the light of day. However, on 30 September, the patience of its legions of fans were finally rewarded when No Time To Die hit cinemas. It was well worth the wait, with Daniel Craig's bowing out of his final Bond film on an all-time-high.

Watch: Daniel Craig reflects on his tenure as 007

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