3 Great Insights About Movies Using Data

  1. No Co-relation Between Box Office Collections & Highly Rated Movies

Here is a scatter plot of Metacritic ratings vs Box office from a study by Timothy King (analyzing critic rating- proxy for quality- vs box office collections). Also referenced in this follow up study by Alec Kennedy. There is little to no correlation between what audience actually see vs quality (judged by seeing critic ratings as a proxy)image02

  1. Directors Get Better, Actors Stay The Same (By Slate)

What does the average Hollywood career look like? In the Rotten Tomatoes database, more than 19,000 actors and 2,000 directors had their first film released in 1985 or later. The average actor's critical reception gets slightly worse over the course of his first few movies, then plateaus. The average score for an actor's first film is about 55 percent. By his fourth movie, that score slides to about 50 percent, where it hovers for the rest of his career.

Directors' careers follow a different trajectory. Like actors, a director's first movie averages a Tomatometer rating around 55 percent. But the average ratings for the next few movies don't drop much at all, never falling below 54 percent. Then, between the average director's seventh and eighth movie, the Tomatometer ratings jump dramatically, from 55 percent to nearly 63 percent. That score stays steady for the average director's ninth through 11th films and then jumps again to the 80s and 90s for the rest of his career.


3. Film Goers like horror, comedy, and romance while critics like documentaries, classics, and “special interest” films by Dan Kozikowski using IMDB Vs Rotten Tomatoes Data

How do critics’ and users’ ratings vary by genre? Note that the blue bars represent the 20th and 80th percentile of rating deltas by genre. In other words, for drama movies, 20% of movies were preferred by critics by at least 10 points, while 20% of movies were preferred by users by at least ~15 points. The data bear out exactly what we’ve always thought: the average moviegoer is more forgiving of horror, comedy, and romance movies (hey, we just want to be entertained!) while smug, self-impressed critics have a soft spot for documentaries, classics, and “special interest” films.image00