How Genres and Age Restrictions Affect Global Box Office

The world's motion picture industry is an enormous market that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and influences the society and culture in many countries of the world. This research dwells upon two aspects of the industry: production and distribution. Given the industry's importance for the society as well as the high social status of filmmakers, quantifying the output of a motion picture project and comparing it against the costs (the budget) seems relevant. This paper analyzes the budgets and box offices of 1,739 AAA motion pictures (1 million US dollars or more in budget) released from 1972 to 2014. The motion pictures are classified by genres at the higher level and then by age restrictions at the lower level; then their box offices are compared to budgets to estimate the profitability. To collect data, the team used a parser written in Python. The paper thus identifies the criteria that make a motion picture a success; it also detects correlation between the age restrictions and the profitability, defined herein as the box office to production budget ratio. One finding is that a motion picture is likely to be more profitable if it is part of a franchise rather than a stand-alone movie. The obtained dependencies are big data-based and are statistically stable. This means the findings can be used predictively at preproduction to avoid a box office flop.

Smarzhevskiy I.A. 1 , Zubareva (Bezdenezhnykh) A.A.2
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  • 1 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
  • 2 Moscow Department of Information Technology
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