Challenge of the stars


This challenge is no longer open for submissions. If you think your work is worth this competition, why not submit it to our annual awards?

If you have any doubts please contact us: Thank you for your participation and good luck! 

The Oscars are looming. So we thought it might be great to produce some amazing, hand-curated data on Hollywood films.

Our ultra-comprehensive dataset lifts the lid on opening weekends, worldwide gross, budgets, storylines, review scores – everything – for every Hollywood film released in the last five years.

Check out our dataset here.

Our challenge to you is, as ever, VISUALIZE.

But in this challenge, you have two possible routes.

1) Create a static design or a napkin visualization that tells a story, highlights a pattern, or – somehow, incredibly! – visualizes it all


2) Design an interactive app that allows users to filter, play and explore this data. (A-ha!)

Because we think the complexity of this data lends itself to an interactive display, we’ve upped the Interactive prize pot. We also encourage Napkin’ers to describe how they might design their interactive view on this. 

Looking forward to seeing your creativity!


data for this challenge


The Hollywood budget data

A breakdown of the 22 types of stories 


the prizes


$2000 for the interactive winner
$375 each for two runners-up 

$1000 for the winner of the design challenge

$500 for the runner-up

$1000 for the winner of the napkin challenge
$500 for the runner up

Plus winners all receive a signed copy of Information Is Beautiful and a poster.


the kudos


We’re going to promo this around the Oscars, so winners and shortlisters should get their work under the noses of key Hollywood types like Bruce Willis and Angelina Jolie*

(*not guaranteed)

The Design challenge winner is immediately shortlisted for the annual Information is Beautiful awards. 


how to enter


Just submit this form with your information and your beautiful piece.


some important dates


Mon 9th Jan – the challenge launches!

Mon 7th Feb / 11am EDT – the challenge closes (extended deadline!)
Week of 20th Feb – shortlisted entries released and then winner announced


some guidelines for entering


  • Audience rules – There’s a lot of information and data here. Do we really need to see it all? Or just some of it? What’s most interesting?
  • Tone – If you’re creating an interactive, what tone will you be going for? Playful and fun? Technical and series? Open and exploratory? Abstract and high-concept?
  • Textually – If you’re napkinning, try not to use too much text to describe functionality. Think annotations. Not novels. 
  • Raw world – our data is in a pretty raw state. Tightly organised, it will require you to study it and draw out a story or a pattern.
  • Extras – feel free to research around this information or come up with your own data or algorithms.
  • Metrics – we’ve used certain metrics. Do you think there are more? Is there another way of measuring or presenting these amounts? 

some rules


: You’ll get a confirmation we’ve received your entry but no other correspondence until we announce shortlists & winners. Sorry!

: Only one entry per person / team per individual challenge please
: You can enter the design challenge OR the napkin challenge. Not both..

: Entries can be in any language.

: Entries received after the closing date and time will not be counted in the competition.

Good luck! 

  • How Challenges Work

    Welcome to our regular visualisations challenges

    We give you a concept or a dataset. You just supply your creativity. Shortlisted entries get featured on the site. The cash prizes are awesome. The fame dazzling.

    BUT best of all, you don't need to be able to design to win one of our challenges.

    No snazzy software needed. No design degree. Just your brain, some paper and a pencil.

    Find out more about our 'napkin challenges'