There has always been an express lane from Hollywood Boulevard to Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, just today, we have stories that House Minority Leader Pelosi is briefing Hollywood stars on her plans to retake the majority in the house. The Oscar nominations this year epitomize the connection between politics and entertainment. In an exciting election year, Hollywood played its part – giving audiences five political films nominated for Best Picture. Most years, the Best Picture race includes at least one political film. But, in and around the Presidential elections, the volume of political content increases.
And, within this year’s Oscar class, and in an election year, we have an opportunity to observe the strong ties between our stars and our leaders. In 2012, Hollywood celebrities took to the campaign trail. A handful of stars spoke at each of the major party conventions, including Best Picture nominee Django Unchained’s supporting actress Kerry Washington. Collectively, the celebrities in Hollywood donated over $4.8 million to various campaigns and public interest groups. One of the leading voices in politics happens to be one of the leading Oscar nominees – Steven Spielberg. In 2012, he donated over $1.2 million to various campaigns – … Read the rest
It is no wonder that Steven Spielberg hosted a private screening of Lincoln at the White House with President Obama, and a bipartisan screening for the U.S. Senate…turns out it is ridiculously expensive to catch a flick in our nation’s capital. Ticket prices in Washington DC are the highest in the country, averaging $10.46 per ticket (compared with Idaho where $5.86). DC is almost a dollar more than the second most expensive place to see a movie: New Jersey.
Ready for the fascinating correlation? It turns out that the average ticket price in your state is actually tightly correlated with the percentage of the vote that Barack Obama won in the 2012 election. Yep – the bluer your state, the higher your average movie ticket price. Just to be clear, we are not saying the relationship is causal – voting for Obama did not mean you were voting for higher ticket prices. I am sure that there are plenty of social-science explanations for you poly sci PhD candidates looking for a dissertation topic. If you think this data is interesting – tomorrow we have an extensive post on the relationship between politics, Hollywood and the Oscars. … Read the rest
As we mentioned in our previous post on PGA and SAG, there may be some shifting momentum in the Best Picture race. In fact, in the last few days, betting markets have begun to favor Argo for Best Picture over Lincoln. Interestingly, the markets have been fluctuating significantly. Following its win at PGA, Argo was up but still below Lincoln. Following SAG on Sunday, Argo skyrocketed. But by Monday morning, Argo was back down to levels below Lincoln, near where it was post-PGA and pre-SAG. In the last 24 hours, however, Argo has again begun to gain.
This indicates that the underlying dynamics of this race remain in flux. Sentiment continues to change and evolve. And, we’ll have yet another data-point come this weekend’s Directors Guild of America (“DGA”) Awards. Should Affleck win over Spielberg, we would expect the Argo momentum in the betting markets to continue. Fundamentally, if Affleck wins DGA, many pundits will question how he was passed over for an Oscar nomination for Best Director in the first place. Should Spielberg take home the DGA Award, he will be the clear front runner for the Oscar for Best Director, and his win may stymie … Read the rest
A studio is a lot like the CIA Situation Room in Zero Dark Thirty. No one can never be 100% certain of Box Office projections. You have Sony’s Michael Lynton at the head of the table asking what his movie will produce next weekend at the Box Office. Amy Pascal says that she thinks the film could do $20 million, with a 60% probability. Jeff Blake says that when he spends $X million in marketing, it should do $20 million…with 65% probability. Kathryn Bigalow and Mark Boal say it’ll do $25 million, with 100% probability…well 95% probability, because they know certainty freaks everyone out. Really, the process of projecting Box Office and the corresponding implications for a film’s Ultimates (the total revenue stream of a film in all of its distribution windows), as well as the impact for a film on a studio’s slate could benefit from the big data and predictive analytics revolution. Over the last decade, the many slate financing failures indicate a less-than-satisfactory projection process.
Box Office Predictions: Building a Comparable Universe
When predicting the Box Office and the Ultimates for Les Miserables, is the right universe of comparable films more like Chicago ($170.6M) or The … Read the rest