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
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
We are marching towards February 24th. And this weekend marked a critical juncture: the Producers Guild of America Awards and the SAG AFTRA Awards were each held this weekend, providing us important new data points for the model. And, it was some unexpected and exciting news.
On Saturday night, at the Producers Guild of America (“PGA”) Awards, Argo took home the top award. As we have mentioned before, PGA is one of the best indicators of the likely winner of the Oscar for Best Picture. But, as we have mentioned before, it is rare that a film wins Best Picture when the Director is not also nominated for Best Director. Recall, Argo’s Director (Ben Affleck) was not nominated for Best Director. Thus, we have a few signals that seem to conflict. This type of situation happens all the time in business planning, so we’re thankful that the PGA is giving us a chance to evaluate the situation.
As we determine how to weight various data sets and signals that impact our predictive forecasting model, we will walk through some of the factors that help us understand the conflict between Argo’s PGA win and the lack of best … Read the rest
Rotten Tomatoes is one of the most popular sites that reviews movies. Beyond the Box Office, this platform provides one of the only quantitative measurement tools for how well-received a movie is by both audience and critics. But does the audience, or even the critic, opinion mean anything for the Oscars?
Rotten Tomatoes has two parallel ratings systems: one critic driven and one audience driven. The critics contribute to the Critics Score, called the Tomatometer®; the user-driven score is called, inventively, the Audience Score. Each is a percentage of the reviewers that had a positive rating of the movie. For the Audience Score, a positive review is one with 3.5 stars or greater; for the critics, a positive review is a thumbs up (or equivalent).
There are also other meta-scores that Rotten Tomatoes provides: the Critics Rating and the Audience Rating. These measure the aggregate scores of critics and the unwashed masses alike. The Critics Rating has three levels: Certified Fresh, Fresh, and Rotten. According to the RT website the Certified Fresh rating is “Reserved for the best-reviewed films, the Certified Fresh accolade constitutes a seal of approval, synonymous with quality.” Quantitatively, these films have consistent Critics Scores above … Read the rest