This is a writing blog, not a movie blog, but I've always wondered why some movies--movies with the same stars in them--do well and some don't. For instance, Old School and Wedding Crashers cleaned up at the boxoffice but The Internship is struggling to compete.
Movies are just stories told with images and sound while books are stories told solely through language. At some level, a story's a story. All things being equal, we'd like to sell our stories, our books, as widely as possible, so understanding what readers/viewers like couldn't hurt.
If that's possible.
Google: Can Predict Box Office With 94% Accuracy
The finding that Google can predict box office with 94% accuracy indicates to me that, most of the time, the decision whether to see a movie is made solely based on marketing rather than word of mouth. That is, it's made before anyone sees the movie.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is similar in the book world. Readers want a book in a certain genre, or by a certain author, or one that's like another book.
I've been using Box Office Mojo to track movie stats; how much a movie was made for, how much it grossed, and so on. It looks like The Internship, the latest movie by comedy duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, is going to be lucky to break even.
Is it the subject matter? Was the subject matter of Vaughn's earlier movies, Old School and Wedding Crashers more primal? These earlier movies were about life transitions, marriage, death. But, in a way, so is The Internship. The movie explores the lives of two guys displaced by technology, two guys who are struggling to succeed in a rapidly changing world that deems them obsolete.
Well, when I put it like that, the movie seems a bit depressing! (grin)
What do you think is the biggest determinant of whether someone will see a movie or read a book?
Photo credit: "București #23" by Thomas Leuthard under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.