Is it possible to forecast how much money a movie will make just by reading a script? Statistics professor and movie guru, Vinny Bruzzese says you can.
Mr. Bruzzese and his team have supposedly come up with an equation to forecast how much money a movie will make in the box office, just by reading the script. For only $20,000 his company, Worldwide Motion Picture Group, will read any movie scrip and will compare it to other narratives with comparable story lines, Facebook likes, and data taken from focus groups consisting of over 1,500 moviegoers. With this information, he can dissect any scrip or screenplay, and help directors see how much money their movie will (or will not) make.
Based on statistics and moviegoer opinions, Bruzzese reads a script, and uses data to determine if characters are likable, or should be changed. He uses corresponding data with certain celebrities to determine how many people will attend a movie just because that person is in the film. His recommendations usually come in a 30 page report, and include both minor and large corrections. Mr. Bruzzese also said that he will not hesitate to inform a writer that the movie is crap, and characters need to be developed into something completely different in order to for the audience to be engaged enough to see the movie in theaters.
So far, Mr. Bruzzese has reviewed over 100 scripts in Hollywood, including “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which earned $484.8 million in the box office. His services also include reviewing scripts for TV shows and Broadway productions. Although his price may be high, Hollywood directors seem to be interested in his operation, and many have found it to be incredibly useful. However, he clearly states to each screenwriter that he will not be held responsible if the movie flops, and his equation is not correct. As we learned, forecasting is rarely 100% correct, and is used as more of a guideline than an indicator of fact.
But what are the implications of using statistical forecasting on an art form like movie making? Some people are not as excited about the idea. One movie critic wrote, “It’s the enemy of creativity, nothing more than an attempt to mimic that which has worked before. It can only result in an increasingly bland homogenization, a pell-mell rush for the middle of the road” (Ol Parker).
So do you think forecasting of new moves will inhibit creativity in scriptwriters? Do you think Hollywood directors should only focus on their movies making the most amount of money? Will Hollywood movies just become cookie cutters of the previous ones before them? Or do you believe an equation made for forecasting movie success help make new movies better?
7 thoughts on “How Forecasting May Forever Change Hollywood”
I am not sure of the effect that this move forecasting is going to have on the industry. I do not think that scriptwriters will be greatly affected by this in choosing what they right about. However,some may be affected in how much they alter what has already been written in editing or revising their scripts. I do also think that Bruzzese’s services may make him successful in that many scriptwriters will want feedback in order to expand on their scripts.
I believe that this forecasting equation could be useful in determining how an audience will react to a film. However, I do not think that this technique will be accurate overall. I am sure that everyone has gone to a movie that received high ratings from critics, but was not well-liked by audiences. I think that this same effect will be seen with a forecasting equation. As far as the writer’s creativity being undermined, it is possible that if this technique becomes accepted in the industry, we may see a cookie-cutter effect.
I think an equation made for forecasting movie success help make new movies better, they compare with other script or story lines and go through social meida research so that they can meet audience’s needs and sanctification of movies. As you have mentioned in the article, forecasting of new moves is a guideline than a fact, scriptwriters can just use forecasting to find their direction of new moves.
The concept of using forecasting to determine the success of a film is very interesting. It may be a good option for a relatively new writer/director to consult Bruzzese and his team if they are not yet aware of the business side of film-making. I do not think, however, that this will, or should, be used by a majority of film directors. Forecasting may limit the risks film-makers are willing to take, sucking out the color and creativity of future films. I am impressed that Bruzzese discovered a formula he believes to be an accurate indicator of a film’s future monetary success, but the overall success of a film is not just measured by the money. Films are expressions of life, something that cannot be measured with a mathematical formula.
Very interestting post! It is amazing the ideas that people come up with. Bruzzese, was very clever in thinking of the idea of forecasting the success of the movie based on the script. Although, it may seem like its working; I do not think that it is an accurate form of measurement of success in the box office. Bruzzese and his team might have different mindsets than other people the result could be biased. This kind of forecasting is not really reliable in my opinion. There is no historical quantitative data to back up a new movies forecasting success. I think Hollywood directors should just focus on making the movie the best they can in their own way. If they use Bruzzese forecasting, movies will start to become very similar to each other since his theory compares the script of the movies to past successful movies. If Bruzzese suggests changes to the directors, they will all be similar to other movies. Hence, I do not think that this method of forecasting a movies success will be effective. So do you think forecasting of new moves will inhibit creativity in scriptwriters? Do you think Hollywood directors should only focus on their movies making the most amount of money? Will Hollywood movies just become cookie cutters of the previous ones before them? Or do you believe an equation made for forecasting movie success help make new movies better?
I can see two sides of how forecasting may be good for hollywood. It could lead to bigger and better ideas for a movie, which I am sure occurred when the World Wide Motion Picture Group reviewed the script to the new movie, Oz. It could also lead to booming business for a well known and highly profitable actors. Although this is good for these few actors and actresses it also hides new talent that may be in the shadows. I can also see the down side of forecasting films because it may make them more homogeneous, but at the same time I believe that it will either make the lower rated movies better or just take them out of the market entirely.
I don’t think a script itself makes a movie good, but rather the entire package. This type of forecasting can only stifle creativity, as more scripts will be tailored to generic action and romance films using popular actors that we already know. I often notice that some of the most interesting movies are the ones that think outside the box and have actors that you maybe haven’t seen before in a major film. There are so many factors that go into creating a movie that I don’t think his formula is even close to being reliable.