How much of "The Town" is just Boston?

How much of "The Town" is just Boston?

Welcome to Cut Up. A video series where I talk about specific scenes in movies and cut them up or put my life at risk for a movie breakdown.

This time we’re talking about The Town: directed, written, and starring Ben Affleck. So of course the movie he writes has to be in Boston and Ben reminds us that this takes place in Boston every chance he gets. So many it almost felt like a parody of other thrillers. So I wondered, how much of The Town is just shots of Boston?

I scrubbed through two versions of “The Town” and pulled all the shots of the greater Boston area to see how much of this film is just establishing shots of the town. If you would like to see the shots of Boston and find out the differences between the two films, then check out the video above. If you just want the cold, hard numbers continue reading.


So the runtimes listed online for these films counts all the logos you see before the film really starts and all the credits. I wanted to see percentages just on the movie itself, like what I did with my “While You Were Sleeping” episode. So here are the real runtimes of the movies:

Theatrical version runtime: 1 hour 58 minutes (118 minutes)
Extended alternate version runtime: 2 hours 26 minutes (146 minutes)

I then scrubbed through both movies and pulled all the shots of Boston from each.

Boston Shots in Theatrical: 12 minutes and 44 seconds
Boston Shots in Extended: 15 minutes and 53 seconds

That means there is over 3 minutes of Boston shots added to the extended version of the film. That ends up giving both films the same percentage of shots.

% of Theatrical: 10.79% and I think we can round that up to 11%
%of Extended: 10.88% that’s 0.09% more, but still round it up to 11%

Both films are 11% shots of Boston. Most of the shots I collected are ariel shots of Boston too. It’s really hard to not notice when you’re watching either. In both versions you’ll start a scene with an ariel shot, you’ll have a scene that lasts 30 seconds, and then it ends on another shot of Boston.

While I was scrubbing through both films I also wanted to know how much we see the nun masks from the movie. When this thing came out this nun mask was all over the advertising for the film. It was in every trailer, it was on the posters for it, and you could even buy the nun mask for a halloween costume. It felt like a big part of it, but then you watch the film and it’s only apart of one small part of the film. After scrubbing through I found that both versions have the exact same amount of nun mask. Only 1 minute and 46 seconds of nun masks. So that means the theatrical version is 1.5% nun mask and the extended alternate is 1.2% nun mask.

That’s not a lot of nun mask.

Do you think you know a movie that has even more establishing shots of a city? Movies that take place in New York seem to be at least 10% city shots. If you want more info about The Town check out the video above. If you like this kind of content make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

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