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Scientists described the movies that earn the biggest profits

Posted July 25, 2018

Making movies is as much of an art form as it is a business. Movies have to make money in the box Office and creators have to be aware of that. If the movie is not profitable, they will not get investors next time. But at the same time it is always very hard to know what people would like to see in their local movie theatres. Scientists say that emotional content of the movie can predict box office success.

There are many different patterns a movie can follow, but people love seeing success after a failure. Image credit: QFT2011 via Wikimedia

Scientists used complex computer systems to categorize thousands of movies into six major emotional clusters: Rags to Riches (An ongoing emotional rise), Riches to Rags (An ongoing emotional fall), Man in a Hole (A fall followed by a rise), Icarus (A rise followed by a fall), Cinderella (Rise-fall-rise), Oedipus (Fall-rise-fall). Then scientists created a database of 6,147 movies, including their scripts, gross domestic revenue and other information. Finally, they created each movie’s emotional map by evaluating each sentence for its emotional tone (negative, neutral or positive). This analysis allowed finding out which emotional pattern results in the highest profit.

And so, scientists found that Man in a Hole type of movies, where the beginning is largely difficult, but the story ends in success, gather the most money in the box office. This is basically the type of movie people like seeing the most, regardless of its genre or the budget. Scientists say that film makers could follow these patterns to create motion pictures that people really like, which would result in a more profitable business model. However, scientists say that other emotional patterns can bring substantial amounts of cash as well. Professor Ganna Pogrebna, leader of the research, said: “For example, the Icarus shape is good for low-budget movies, while if you want to shoot a successful tragedy in the Riches to Rags shape, then make it epic with a large budget of over $100 million”.

Scientists can also accurately point at movies that are not going to do well. For example, Mystery, and Thrillers with happy endings in the Rags to Riches shape usually do not do too well. This pattern also doesn’t work well with comedies with bad endings. Scientists believe that the method of analysis as well as the general information that they gathered will be very useful to film makers trying to make profit.

People who like watching movies should also be happy about this research. It should result in more movies of your taste. Also, now you have those categories, which will allow you to describe your taste in cinema just that little bit more accurately.


Source: University of Birmingham

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