A group of researchers from Tottori University in Japan, have developed a math equation that can predict if a movie is going to be a success or a flop. The complicated formula takes into account various factors, including advertising, word-of-mouth, and social networks.
The mathematical model was applied to 25 movies, which screened in theaters in Japan, to calculate the likelihood of someone going to watch the movie 60 days prior to the opening date, through to 100 days after. The algorithm was able to accurately predict the audience forecast, which matched with the actual ticket sales at the box office.
Professor Akira Ishii, the lead researcher, has high-hopes to commercialize the algorithm, commenting that:
Currently the calculations are such that they can’t really be used other than by the students working in our lab. In the future we’d like to incorporate the equations into software that is easy to use by marketers or non-technical people that aren’t so familiar with mathematics. Our dream is that our software could be used by advertisers or for conferences in a broad range of industries.
Ishii wrote a paper on the mathematical model that was published on 15 June, 2012 in the UK’s edition of New Journal of Physics. See the video below to see how the equation is formulated: