Making movies can be an incredibly high-risk proposition for companies, especially with the growing costs of film productions around the world. While you may get your Marvel and Star Wars films which offer up as close to a sure thing as you’re likely to get from a box office perspective, the reality is that many movies are made with a remarkable amount of risk with studios not always fully confident that certain movies are going to recoup the heavy investment made.
As you can imagine, this is not something which makes studio executives jobs very easy, which is perhaps why they too are looking to use Artificial Intelligence to try and predict which movies they should be making that will offer up the highest chances of success.
This has prompted the rise of companies like Scriptbook and Cinelytic who are championing the idea of forecasting and analytics for movie studios to help them determine which combination of genres, themes and cast to determine the likely amount of money a movie is probably going to make, allowing for studios to make the right decisions not just in terms of what moves to make, but also how much money they should possibly spend on them too.
A recent article The Verge has analysed how these companies are starting to make an impact on the industry and showing success in their respective models in predicting box office success with remarkable accuracy. The future obviously doesn’t lie with predicting if a move will be a success, but in planning movies beforehand, which is now where these tools are starting to become really handy for studios, as Cinelytic co-founder and CEO Tobias Queisser shares:
You can compare them separately, compare them in the package. Model out both scenarios with Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence, and see, for this particular film … which has better implications for different territories.
A take which Andrea Scarso, a director at the UK-based Ingenious Group, whose company uses Cinelytic’s software to guide investments it makes in films, sees a lot of value in:
Sometimes it validates our thinking, and sometimes it does the opposite: suggesting something we didn’t consider for a certain type of project. You can see how, sometimes, just one or two different elements around the same project could have a massive impact on the commercial performance. Having something like Cinelytic, together with our own analytics, proves that [suggestions] we’re making aren’t just our own mad ideas.
It’s still early days with this technology, but with the rest of the business world moving towards big data and artificial intelligence to make better decisions, it should come as no surprise that Hollywood is doing the same. There is a whole host of research and companies getting in on this space which The Verge uncovers more of and makes for worthwhile reading.
So next time you go to the cinema to watch the next big thing, remember that there could be some algorithm somewhere that predicted you would want to see this movie and that’s why they made it. Does this mean we are going to get more original movies? Unlikely as sadly, sequels and reboots continue to be big business for studio and they will continue going down that road as it keeps making them lots of money
Last Updated: May 29, 2019