Big Data in the Film Industry

Before continuing on, it is important to mention that the methods mentioned below are data sets and models created by third parties and not the companies within the American Motion Picture Industry. The third parties created models that they believe could be or could have been used by the companies. With the exception of the previously mentioned 20th Century Studios and Netflix, which will be talked about in detail later on, the companies in the industry tend to not release information about the models that they use. It can be assumed that this is the case due to the fact that the companies do not want competitors to be able to access or create similar models to them if they have seen relative success with their particular data sets and models. It is also important to note that, due to this being the case, we do not know from whom or where the data they use is collected from. This raises the question of potential data bias and how they are using such data.

The emergence of big data within the film industry has allowed for many avenues of box-office predictions to become available. But what is the big data within the film industry? The big data about the film industry used to be far more limited. It only held box-office receipts, surveys, focus groups centered around the awareness and the attitude towards a particular film, and the outlets in which advertising for films were placed (Simon & Schroeder, 2019). However, the amount of available data has increased significantly. One of the main contributors to this is social media. The data now includes the online views gained by various trailers for a film, the social media posts about a particular film and the positive and negative engagement that they garner in regard to the yet-to-be-released film (Gold et al., 2013, Simon & Schroeder, 2019). Another area in which data was gathered was from the comments of the website Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes is a website where users are able to view critical and audience ratings of films and television shows, as well as comments made by the audience in regard to the films. These different areas and aspects of the data now allow for much more robust ways for companies to be able to predict the success of their yet-to-be-released films and to plan accordingly for the potential success or failure.

How can the data be used by companies within the American Motion Picture Industry? With the emergence of new data, these companies can analyze the responses of the audience toward their marketing campaigns and to see if there is interest garnering in regard to the movie before its planned release. With these comes the most important prediction for the companies, the box-office success of their film (Simon & Schroeder, 2019). Being able to predict how well their movie will perform once it releases into theaters allows for the companies to have opportunities in front of them that may not have been present or usable without the knowledge of the data. These opportunities could include funding further advertising, delaying the release of the film, or even altogether canceling the film and its production.