A messy desk with a vintage typewriter, film reel, clapperboard, coffee mug and disorganized stacks of movie script pages piled together.

How Many Pages Should Your Movie Screenplay Be? The Ultimate Guide in 2024

You slump back in your chair after typing “FADE TO BLACK” on page 168 of your screenplay. A feeling of satisfaction washes over you as you complete this labor of love. But a nagging question tugs at the corner of your mind – is your script the right length?

You’ve received conflicting advice from peers. One says to keep it under 120 pages at all costs. Another argues that the story should dictate the length, rules be damned!

As you prepare to submit your script to agents or studios, proper page length is critical for professional formatting and maximizing your chances of selling your work.

Follow our definitive guide on target page counts for feature films and other media to give your screenplay the best shot at success.

Standard Screenplay Page Format

Before diving into ideal page lengths, it’s important to understand how a screenplay page translates to actual screen time.

Due to formatting conventions, one page of a script usually equates to one minute of film. That’s because screenplays are:

  • Printed in 12 point Courier font
  • Double spaced
  • Only contain dialogue and essential action description

This sparse formatting means each script page equals approximately one minute of screen time.

So if your goal is to write a conventional 90-minute feature film, you’ll want to aim for a 90-page screenplay. Easy, right?

Well, not quite…

Acceptable Feature Film Lengths

While a 90-120 page screenplay resulting in a 90-120 minute movie is typical, the range is broader than you might expect.

Here are common lengths for feature film scripts:

  • 60-90 pages for independent films and dramas.
  • 90-130 pages for most studios’ films across genres.
  • 120-170 pages for historical dramas and biopics.

Comedies tend to clock in on the shorter side due to faster pacing, usually 90-110 pages.

But seriously, how short is too short? How long is too long?

Short Films vs. Epics

At the lower end, 50-60 pages start to venture into short film territory rather than a feature.

Studios will most likely pass on scripts under 80-90 pages, so you will have trouble selling anything shorter. Pad out your description or add scenes if you land below this threshold.

At the upper end, anything over 130 pages better has an epic story to justify the extended length. Fight Club was 136 pages, while The Green Mile tipped the scales at 167 pages.

But these are exceptions. Anything over 120 pages will raise red flags for agents and executives, who are inundated with submissions daily. They may pass on reading it to avoid committing the extra time, fearing the story drags.

The 120 Page Sweet Spot

Is there a magic number for the ideal length that maximizes your chances of selling your script?

Industry veterans largely agree that you should target 120 pages as your max, with an acceptable range of 90-130 pages.

This yields an average movie just over 2 hours after credits, a comfortable duration for most moviegoers.

Studios also prefer 2-hour films for the extra showings they can schedule. A concise, compelling story told in 120 pages or less truly gives you the best shot at success.

But What About TV and Other Formats?

Feature films aren’t the only media with screenplay page count conventions. Here are benchmarks for other common formats:

  • 30-minute sitcoms – 35-45 script pages
  • 1-hour network dramas – 60-70 pages
  • 1-hour cable dramas – 45-65 pages
  • TV movies and Hallmark films – 75-90 pages

As you can see, each format has its own target length to fit standard running times. Just as with features, err on the concise side when possible.

Tips to Tighten Your Script

What if your first draft ballooned to 145 pages? Or you craft an artsy indie script that’s just 72 pages?

Before panicking, there are techniques to expand or condense your story to hit the right page count:

  • Cut long action paragraphs. You only need quick sentences to move the story forward.
  • Trim redundant or unnecessary dialog. Spot interchanges that meander or restate ideas.
  • Combine or cut unnecessary characters.
  • Shorten transitional scenes.
  • Remove subplots that stray from the core narrative.
  • Add sequences that develop characters and raise the stakes.

With some focused edits, you can fine-tune your script’s pace and length without compromising the overall story.

The Page Counts that Matter Most

At the end of the day, what matters most is telling your story in the most compelling way possible. The perfect page count won’t save a mediocre script.

However, adhering to industry standards shows you have an understanding of commercial filmmaking – an advantage when trying to break into the business as a new screenwriter.

So while story trumps all, do your best to follow these parameters when writing your next breakout spec script:


  • Dramas/Indies: 90-120 pages
  • Comedies: 90-110 pages
  • Big Studio Films: 100-130 max
  • Epics/Biopics: Up to 170 pages


  • Sitcoms: 35-45 pages
  • 1 Hour Dramas: 45-70 pages
  • TV Movies: 75-90 pages

Stay within the typical ranges and resist overstuffing or underserving your story. If you feel strongly that the narrative requires something exceptionally short or long, then make your bold choice – and be ready to defend it!

With practice, you’ll develop sharp instincts for story structure and target lengths. Master screenplay page counts, and you’ll remove one more obstacle between you and seeing your vision come to life on the big screen.

Now – fade out of your screenwriting software and fade into the next great tale waiting to be told.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many pages is a 2-hour movie script?

A 2-hour movie generally has a script length of 120-125 pages. At roughly 1 script page per minute of screen time, a 2 hour (120-minute) movie comes out to about 120 pages.

How many pages is a typical movie script?

The typical length of a movie script is 90-120 pages. Dramas tend to be on the shorter end around 90-100 pages, while big-budget studio films often range from 110-120 pages. Comedies also tend to be shorter.

How long is a script for a 90-minute movie?

A 90-minute movie usually has a script length of approximately 90 pages. The common ratio is 1 script page equals roughly 1 minute of screen time, so a 90-minute (1.5 hours) movie would equate to a 90-page script.

Is 200 pages too long for a script?

Yes, 200 pages are normally too long for a feature film script. Exceptions could be made for epic historical sagas and such, but the standard acceptable length is 90-120 pages max. Anything over 130 pages will be scrutinized and very difficult to sell.

What are the 3 types of scripts?

The 3 main types of scripts are:

  1. Screenplays – For films and television shows.
  2. Stage plays – For theatrical productions.
  3. Radio plays – For radio programs and audio dramas.

Is 80 pages too short for a screenplay?

Generally, yes – 80 pages is shorter than the ideal length for a feature film screenplay. The acceptable range is around 90-120 pages. 80 pages or less starts to get into short film territory rather than a full-length feature.

Is 70 pages too short for a screenplay?

Yes, 70 pages is most likely too short for a feature film screenplay. Standard acceptable lengths start at around 90 pages and go up to 120 maximum. At 70 pages, the script would be very short for a feature and better suited to a short film or television program.

Is 90 pages too short for a screenplay?

90 pages is on the shorter side for a feature film screenplay, but still in the generally acceptable range, especially for certain genres like indie dramas or comedies. However, studios tend to prefer scripts in the 100-120 page range.

How much can you sell a movie script for?

There’s no fixed price for selling a movie script, it depends on many factors like the writer’s experience level and the market demand for the concept. But generally, new spec scripts sell for anywhere from a few thousand dollars into the low six figures. Established screenwriters can earn much higher sums.

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