Lights, Camera, Analytics - Data Analytics in Cinema Industry
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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ANALYTICS

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Every Friday is one big day for filmmakers when a Bollywood flick with its fair share of romance, comedy, melodrama and action is all geared to release, giving producers a genuine reason to bite the nails for the movies fate. Will the movie pull in abundant profits or will it turn out to be the forgettable flop?

How wonderful it would be if we could call the genie, pull out our crystal balls or get the tarots read on this? Is there any way to save our producers from numerous weekly heart attacks?

FROM THE GUT TO THE GUTTER

Remembering the charisma of Jack Sparrow, all three sequels of Pirates of Caribbean were smashing big hits at the box office. Encouraged by this success, Disney came to a conclusion that John Carter with a similar dose of action and special effects would be again a hit.

Unfortunately, the truth is that John Carter turned out to be the biggest flops of all time.

How could Disney get it so wrong? The culprit lies within – it’s called the gut! For a very long time, our film industry has relied on tried and tested formulae, but lately we have seen movies like Queen, which are made on a shoe-string budget movie to be hits while big budget movies like Roy and Finding Fanny flopping. Hence, times have come to revise and optimize the thinking relevant to audience needs. It is high time when movie makers should do decision making on data rather than relying on gut feeling.

Recently, Bollywood has come up trumps for analytics, giving predictions on which movie will succeed and which will bomb at box office. Data gathered from different social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogs was able to predict the success of ‘Ramleela with confidence percentage of 73’, which ultimately proved to be correct.

ANALYTICS IS A HERO

Just for example, let’s say Disney want to remake John Carter, keeping in mind ‘predictive analytics’.

To decide on the cast, the studio can initiate by looking at all the action/adventure movies released in the recent years that had one particular star, check on their releasing dates, location wise performance, major events done to promote them, etc. and see how successful each one of them was. Data could also be pulled from social media comments to know whether audience developed fatigue with that actor in recent times.

Movie success prediction also helps companies to plan their resources. A studio that expects its newest movie to be immensely popular will certainly rent more theatre rooms in advance.

The Hollywood star Will Smith is one celebrity who has intelligently applied analytics to pursue a career in cinema. Along with his business manager, they analyzed top 10 highest money grossing movies so as to uncover their patterns. They found each one of them had special effects, with 9 having special effects with aliens/creatures from outer space. And 8 out of 10 had special effects, creatures and a love story. The rest we all know is history. Independence Day, Men in Black, I, Robot, and then I am Legend…..are few of his movies that fall in this patter and needless to say, have been runaway hits.

CURTAINS

In predicting the success of a movie, data alone can play one big role. In times of today, when data influences our everyday decision making, predictive analytics can be a magic wand that can create order out of so much chaos of decision-making and answer the enigmatic question….Are vampires still a hit?

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