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Why these guys watched the movie '50/50' 50 times, and what happened afterward

Here's why these guys watched the movie '50/50' 50 times, and what happened afterward


Have you ever binge-watched for good?

A group of guys in California did by watching the movie "50/50" no fewer than 50 times to raise money for cancer research. That's 83 hours of constant viewing, back to back.

"Cancer has touched all of our lives in personal ways," said Bryan Christensen, one of the four self-proclaimed artists who watched the movie. "Our family members [were] diagnosed or passed away from cancer."

The movie, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, tells the story of a young man diagnosed with cancer who is given a 50/50 chance of survival.

The Los Angeles-based men streamed the marathon to the public via Twitch. The viewing started on a Thursday at 4 p.m. and ended early Sunday at about 2 a.m.

"It was really just an experiment and a performance art piece to in a way talk about and bring light to the way that we consume media," said Christensen.

Cancer has touched all of our lives in personal ways.
Bryan Christensen

The four friends will admit they're binge-watchers and wanted to put their abilities to good use.

The rules for the marathon were simple. All four of them had to sit in a room together, could only get up to use the bathroom and could only sleep for one hour and 40 minutes -- the running time of the movie -- at a time. At the end of each showing, an alarm would sound to wake up any sleeping participant.

"I think I slept a total of 12 hours," said Mikayel Nguyen.

If you're wondering what effect 83 hours of the same movie has on you, Nguyen said that while he can't recite the script line-for-line, he can definitely complete the characters' lines as they say them.

"If I hear a line from the movie," said Cendejas a week after the viewing, "I sort of get flashbacks to how I felt during the marathon."

"The first night after the viewing, it was hard to sleep because I was so used to falling asleep with the sound of the movie and the lights on," he said.

Even though they raised only $200 by the end of the marathon, the team said it was still an enlightening experience. They said they'll be donating the money to City of Hope, a cancer treatment and research center in California.

"I'm surprised," said Jeff Cendejas. "We got about 2,000 total views over the course of the project. You know, I expected zero dollars and barely any views, so it blew my expectations out of the water."

And if you're wondering, no, they didn't grow to hate the movie.

"If you haven't seen the movie," says Ryan Lee, "you definitely should."

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