'Avengers', Billie Eilish and Chernobyl among top Wikipedia articles of 2019

According to Wikipedia, the list largely centers around television and film with indie pop singer Billie Eilish as one outlier in the top 10.
Image: Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum on Dec. 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif.Kevin Winter / Getty Images file

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By Gwen Aviles

Film and television dominated Wikipedia's catalog of top 25 most popular articles of the year "in a way we haven't seen before," according to a list released by Wikimedia Foundation Friday.

"Avengers: Endgame," the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, marking the finale of more than a decade of storytelling, was the most popular Wikipedia article of the year with nearly 44 million page views. The film grossed nearly $2.8 billion worldwide, making it the highest grossing film of all time.

“Joker and “Captain Marvel” were also among the most-frequently searched superhero films.

Among the other most popular articles were several that related to real-life people and events that inspired film or television projects, including Freddie Mercury, the frontman of Queen who was the central character in the 2018 biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," Ted Bundy and the Chernobyl disaster, which were both the subjects of highly-discussed television series released in 2019.

According to Wikipedia, "one outlier stands out in the top 10": indie pop singer Billie Eilish, who was the subject of the ninth most popular Wikipedia article of 2019. Eilish first gained traction after uploading a song called "Ocean Eyes" on Soundcloud in 2016, but 2019 proved to be a breakout year for the 18-year-old artist. Her album "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" was released in March and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 as well as on the UK Albums Chart, making her the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one album in the United States, and the youngest female ever to have a number one album in the United Kingdom.

Wikipedia says its "top-read articles provide a snapshot into what captured readers attention most - the people they are most curious about and the culture and perspectives that shape their daily lives." Adding that "there is an emotional connection to each of these searches that Wikipedia reveals."

Beyond entertainment, Wikipedia users also frequently searched for politicians across the political spectrum, including President Donald Trump, whose page was the 17th most popular article of the year with more than 13 million views, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, the freshman Congresswoman whose page was the 25th most popular of the year, with more than 11 million views. Last year Trump's page was the 14th most popular and 2018 was the first year Ocasio-Cortez had a Wikipedia page.

According to Wikipedia, the list was curated by Andrew G. West, a research scientist whose work was foundational in creating STiki, a tool that has been used to remove more than 1 million damaging and inaccurate revisions to the online encyclopedia.

The organization said that the current list is only representative of page views though Dec. 15, and will be updated when the full year's data is available in January.