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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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  • A little late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @04:51PM (#44659903)

    Once there's a wikipedia article, with content, and page views, the movie's already made. Not releasing at that point, to avoid losing money on a flop, would only cause more money to be lost. Or am I missing something?

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

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:11PM (#44660079)

    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.

    Exactly. The goal of a movie is to put asses in seats. That's it.

    But that is a silly goal EVEN IF you simply want to maximize profits. It would be better to charge more per seat for good movies and less for bad movies. Also, the price should fall each week as the audience diminishes, to encourage repeat viewers, or to get more "impulse watchers" that are willing to spend $2 but not $12.

    As long as I am on a rant, airlines should also price differentiate their seats. Middle seats should be $20 less than windows or aisles, and your ticket should be at least a few bucks cheaper in the back of the plane.

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

    by MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) <myfirstnameispaul@gmail.com> on Friday August 23, 2013 @05:16PM (#44660113) Homepage Journal
    2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars: Episode IV, The Godfather, and many other films from the late 60s and 70s. The film industry was going through a transition where it needed to expand, so it started taking risks, which included creating the parental ratings system and more experimental films. I find it somewhat ironic that they don't seem to be willing to do a 'sequel' to that more experimental, and ultimately successful, period.
  • Re:Oh great... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jxander (2605655) on Friday August 23, 2013 @07:46PM (#44661127)

    12 > 2 ... but 2 > 0 . If the choices are "See a decent movie for full price, or nothing at all" then I'm going to stick with nothing at all. Selling the ticket cheap gets my butt into the theatre, where I might buy popcorn, play some video games, see a trailer for some movie I didn't realize was coming out next weekend... etc

    In reality though, this isn't a movie theatre's decision. The Studios are what drive ticket sales. Disney, Sony, Fox, etc. get nearly 100% of the ticket prices, and sometimes even MORE than 100%. There was a dust-up recently when Disney flexed it's Marvel Muscles, and wanted significantly MORE than $12 per ticket from the theatres, for the rights to show Iron Man 3. This put theatres in a tough spot. They can't exactly say NO. "sorry, we're not showing Iron Man because Disney wanted to put us over a barrel and we stood up for ourselves" So they took the loss and hoped to make up the difference on concession sales. Given that reality, I can't see the Studios agreeing to $2 tickets, when the theatre will make most of the bonus cash from it.

    Can't wait to see what happens when the next Star Wars comes out...

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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