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Wait, surely the headline can't be true, can it?
Almost 20 years after the Harry Potter franchise made its big-screen debut, several Potterheads on social media have stumbled upon a shocking discovery - that Draco Malfoy, Harry's arch-nemesis and a major antagonist throughout the series, appears on screen throughout the whole saga for as little as 31 minutes.
31 minutes?! Are you serious? That's barely longer than an episode of Friends!
Apparently, though, it's true and a quick glance at the official Harry Potter IMDB page confirms that Felton's character does indeed have just over half an hour of screen-time throughout all 19 hours and 40 minutes of the eight films - around 2.5 percent of the entire run, to be specific.
Where does the time go?
To break it down even further, Malfoy's longest appearance is in The Half Blood Prince, during which the silver-haired bully enjoys a grand total of eight minutes of screen-time.
In contrast, his shortest spell can be found in the fifth instalment of the franchise, The Order Of The Phoenix, in which he manages to appear on-screen for just one minute and 15 seconds.
Understandably, fans were pretty peeved at the revelation.
One Twitter user said: "The fact Draco Malfoy was only in 31 minutes throughout the WHOLE of the Harry Potter franchise (19 hrs & 40 mins) jus doesn't sit right with me.",
Another wrote: "Are you telling me that 14 years old me celebrated the birthday of a character that had 31 minutes on screen?"
the fact Draco Malfoy was only in 31 minutes throughout the WHOLE of the Harry Potter franchise (19 hrs & 40 mins) jus doesn't sit right with me
- alex (@alexsummersx) October 5, 2020
However, before you start moaning about Felton's apparent shafting by the film's editing crew, let's back up for a moment and clear things up. You see, screen time in a film is literally - the time an actor is visibly on the screen.
This means that even if Malfoy was in the same room as other characters, if the shot was not showing him, it wouldn't count as screen time.
Likewise, if he was interacting with someone and the camera switches between characters while they're talking to each other, Malfoy's screen time is only counted when it's on him.
In actuality, the 31 minutes (and 30 seconds) that Malfoy appears in the films is comparable to several other characters you might consider as prominent. Voldemort, for example, was on screen for 37 minutes and 15 seconds, while Hagrid appeared for 45 minutes and 45 seconds.
Meanwhile, Malfoy himself managed to bag more camera time than other long-running Potter mainstays such as Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Professor McGonagall, so maybe it's worth taking a step back and putting these things in perspective.
Still, at the end of the day, this whole episode just goes to show that screen time isn't everything.
Anthony Hopkins famously only needed 25 minutes of it to win an Oscar for his portrayal of Hannibal Lector in Silence Of The Lambs after all. And judging from the number of passionate fans Felton still has after all these years, it's safe to say that his somewhat minimal screentime in Harry Potter certainly didn't diminish his success.
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