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Wikipedia Can Predict Box Office Flops 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the citation-needed dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Despite a record year, like every year before it, 2013 remained fraught with its fair share of box office disasters. What if studios could minimize their loses and predict when the next Pluto Nash-level flop was imminent? According to new research published in PLoS One, they may actually be able to. Using data gleaned from Wikipedia articles, researchers measured the likelihood of a film's financial success based on four parameters: number of total page views; number of total edits made; number of users editing; and the number of revisions in the article's revision history, or 'collaborative rigor.'"
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Wikipedia Can Predict Box Office Flops

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  • Oh great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:47PM (#44659863)

    ... because what we REALLY need is more studios taking LESS chances...

    Some of the greatest movies have been box-office flops.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:49PM (#44659879) Homepage Journal

    To know it was not only a flop, but a typical crap-scripted Disney attempt to run another character through the PoTC money making machine.

    Armie Hammer is an idiot, the movie was a stinker, out of control in more ways than budgetary and there was no conspiracy to slag heavily on it - on look at the trailer and you knew

  • Re:Oh great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edawstwin (242027) on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:50PM (#44659897)
    Like it or not, studios are out to make money, not great movies. For all they're concerned, every movie could be a Chipmunks sequel.
  • by rsborg (111459) on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:55PM (#44659943) Homepage

    I can envision the next Hollywood producer seeing this, and proclaiming that all future productions will outdo each other in each of the relevant wikipedia statistics, even if those million monkey-keystrokes are immediately rolled back by beleaguered wikipedia editors.

    Cargo-cult executive thinking to the rescue!

  • by west (39918) on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:56PM (#44659949)

    By the time they know it's a flop, isn't a bit late? They've already spent pretty much all the money. At best, it might persuade some theaters to *not* show the movie.

    It doesn't really help to find out that the oncoming light in the tunnel is a train 30 seconds earlier than you might have realized otherwise...

  • Re:A little late (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:57PM (#44659965)

    Then lets make pages for movies we would like to see and edit the hell out of them.

  • Re:Oh great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:23PM (#44660163)

    Well bringing the discussion back on point, (I know, I know), how would Wiki predict a flop ahead of time?

    After all, people have to see it, or at least have access to the script, a complete list of cast, production crew, and special effects to even begin to write a stub article on Wiki.

    It would appear TFA addresses none of this. They don't appear to throw out updates and page views that pre-date the actual release date. The look at AFTER-THE FACT data.

    Further, these results could and would be gamed the minute it was revealed anyone was paying attention. The posts prior to casting, shooting, and editing would be from insiders, looking to feather their own nest. There are no actual movie goers involved that early. Usually the script is closely guarded so that even enthusiasts of the book are clueless. Even the actors don't necessarily know how something will turn out, and don't have a concept of the entire film until after its been cut, scored, and edited. That leaves a very small cadre of knowledgeable people who would have anything authoritative to say ahead of time.

  • Re:Oh great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:35PM (#44660289)

    some of the greatest movies of the 80's were considered crap when they came out. the kids liked them, the kids grew up and now worship them

    the art cycle is
    kids like stuff their parents hate
    its considered crap by important people
    kids grow up and the crap is now art

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

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