In response to Sony pulling The Interview (albeit temporarily), various writers wrote about how much money it was projected to make, had it been released according to schedule. Assuming that the sources reporting these projections are generally reliable in other fields, how trustworthy are they when it comes to movies? In other words, how good are analysts or movie studios at predicting the financial success of a given movie? Bonus points for showing how these predictions are actually factored in to studio's decisions.

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    I'd guess that a success formula could be based on the advertising budget multiplied by the opinions of "normal people" who saw test screenings before the movie came out. But the majority of movies are not test-screened, so that can't be the only formula that's used. BTW, you may want to check out hsx.com, the Hollywood Stock Exchange. On that site, people use virtual money to buy virtual "stock" in movies before they're released, and the "stock price" generally matches how much money the movie is expected to make. So a lot of people think they can predict this. Dec 29, 2014 at 0:39
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    Given the number of major studios driven to bankruptcy by ill-judged investment in movies nobody went to see and the number of spectacular failures of expensive projects (even Disney took a serious accounting hit for the losses on John Carter), one would have to guess: No. Goldman was right "nobody knows anything".
    – matt_black
    Dec 29, 2014 at 13:09
  • @matt_black That's why I asked, cause I did think it was impossible, but then I saw this projection from otherwise very reliable sites, which made me wonder
    – ewkochin
    Dec 29, 2014 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


Is it possible to predict movie success?


How accurate it can be?

Nobody knows. Maybe 70% to 90%.

There are already various models present for movie success prediction but they not always succeed. One formula is here.

These days this formula is more based on Search engines to predict early audience response. But star cast, advertisement and tie-in materiel also come in calculation. Oxford University scientists claims 77% success rate of their formula.

These days you can say adaption (book or comics) have better success rate than indies but exceptions are there too: John Carter and Green Lantern.


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