IBM Brings Analytics To Bollywood For Predicting Success Of Movies

IBM develops social sentiment index (SSI) that boasts of predicting Bollywood movies success based on the social buzz of similar genre movies.



Every Friday Indian producers have their heart in their mouth for their movies’ box office fate. Movies are a risky business! Sometimes no one turns up for a big budget movie and at times a movie directed on a shoe string budget could catch the nation’s frenzy. The recent hit Queen brought success on a tight budget.

Times are changing apart from divine intervention and astrological success; analytics can also help in predicting the success rate of a Bollywood movie. The Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone starrer Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, that became a box office hit last year, was predicted to be a hit in its first week by IBM.

According to a story at TNN, IBM wants to bring the same analytical thinking to Bollywood. The company that has a prediction framework argues that filmmakers no longer need to depend only on their creative instincts and gut feel to ensure success at the box office. Some good data crunching can provide significant insights that can supplement the creative mind.

Detailing the prediction process, IBM analysed over seven lakh posts across a variety of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs for 25 Bollywood films with considerable social buzz. These included films like Ek Tha Tiger, Barfi, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Kai Po Che, Kahaani and Agneepath.

The above mentioned analysis was then used to arrive at a predictability of success by genres, or what IBM calls a social sentiment index (SSI).

Raman Kalra, Head of media & entertainment at IBM India, adds that people might say data analytics is difficult to do in the media industry because it’s driven by creative minds. However, it is not true as it is possible to provide rich, meaningful, impactful and actionable insights.

The SSI also revealed some trends that with 75% confidence a film with a political flavour stands a strong chance of scoring well at the box office, with factors like remakes and a star director further improving its success rate.

I wonder why then, did the Salman Khan starrer ‘Jai Ho’ turn into a dud at the box office!

Nevertheless, good to see a trend from Hollywood catching up in Bollywood when producers are moving beyond intuition and focus-group research and starting to turn to predictive analytics.

With soaring investments and multiple movies releasing in India every Friday, analytics can prove its mettle at the box office along with other ways of prediction.

Image credit: Timescity