Unexpectedly Intriguing!
28 June 2012

A team of Japanese physicists and mathematicians has developed a mathematical equation for predicting whether or not a movie will become a hit at the box office!

Detailed in their article, "The 'hit' phenomenon: a mathematical model of human dynamics interactions as a stochastic process" in the June 2012 edition of the New Journal of Physics, the new model replaces the traditional method of forecasting the likely revenue for a movie, which incorporates aspects such as advertising budget, strength of word-of-mouth, star power, quality, et cetera.

These aspects still have a role, but the innovation in the Japanese physicists approach is to incorporate data from social network systems, such as blogs, to quantify the less tangible aspects of the factors that influence whether or not a movie will become a blockbuster, at least at the Japanese box office.

One of the more remarkable findings of the research is that the number of positive blog posts about a movie can be used to project its revenue:

Daily blog postings for a movie are a very important signal to measure the movement of purchase intention among persons in the society. We measure the daily data of the number of posts for movies using the site Kizasi, which is a service for observing blog postings in Japan. We measure the number of blog posts for 25 movies in Japan in order to compare this information with the box office gross income for each movie in Japan....

Blog postings for each film can be distinguished into positive, negative and neutral opinions. A positive opinion means that the blogger wants to watch the film or judges the watched film in a positive way. In figure 10, we show that more than half of the blogs show a positive opinion for several movies. Moreover, we find that the ratio of positive, negative and neutral opinions is almost constant during the duration of the movie opening. Thus, the observed blog posting counts can be considered to be proportional to the counts of positive blog posts.

According to this observation, we propose to use the daily number of blog posts as the daily 'quasi-revenue.'. Quasi-revenue is very useful for analysis, because it can be defined even before the opening of the movie. We can observe the increase in anticipation of a movie.

And because they've worked out how to use the data from social networking systems to measure the anticipation for a movie, they can do very well in predicting whether a movie will actually become a hit, as well as what kind of longevity it might have if it does!

If only Hollywood had thought to do that before releasing John Carter. Or Battleship. Or Rock of Ages. Or any of these movies!

Labels: ,

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Indices, Futures, and Bonds

Closing values for previous trading day.

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.