Could an Equation Determine Whether a Movie Will Be Successful?
The movie industry is no stranger to equations and analytics, and many of the decisions they make are based on such numbers. It’s very often a gamble, however, because no system is perfect in its predictions, and there is no guaranteed way to anticipate many of the other factors that go into these releases. But what if you could develop a mathematical model that could accurately predict how successful a movie would be? That’s what the Tottori University Department of Engineering in Japan is attempting to do with their own equation. Check out the video below:
Here is another look at the equation (click for a larger view):
Check out their simulation versus the actual release:
While this could be great for Hollywood executives to figure out whether they should be taking a loss on a film that hasn’t even been released yet (or popping champagne corks), it doesn’t necessarily help independent filmmakers all that much unless they are doing a ton of advertising and promotion — and actually releasing in a traditional manner. Analytics are exceptionally fascinating to me, and it will be interesting to actually see this implemented and what effect it might have on the industry.
The downside to equations like this, of course, is that it may put more emphasis on projects that are guaranteed to make money, rather than those that may be pushing the boundaries of mainstream cinema.
What do you think? Have you ever seen equations used before to determine how successful a film might be? How could you see independent filmmakers utilizing the power of the internet and social media to determine how successful an online distribution plan may be?