Predicting Box-Office Success in the Film Industry

In the world of the film industry, there are many films that are released each year to the public and are successful, but there are also films that do not see the same success as the others. In the United States alone, 449 films were released in 2022. This number is slowly rising back to the 2019 level of 792 films after falling during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. & Canada, 2023). Film production companies want to be able to figure out whether or not they should fund a project based on its predicted box-office success. Currently the methods that are being used are not officially known, but there is evidence that suggests that data is being used for predictions by the companies in the American Motion Picture Industry. For a film production company to be able to predict the success of a film when it is in the stages of pre-production, there needs to be something out there for the film, such as a trailer for the people to be able to see a preview of the project, before companies are able to begin making predictions. 20th Century Studios has machine learning models to help before pre-production, but there are no known results. With that being said, how and when can a production company within the American Motion Picture Industry predict the success of their films at the box-office? Read on to find out.

Before there was access to big data, companies used much simpler methods for prediction. Focus groups were employed to predict success for a film, as well as analyzing box office receipts to predict the potential success of a film based on similar films. There was one major issue with these methods, they all lacked easily accessible data, causing them to fail as reliable methods (Simon & Schroeder, 2019).