Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different topic around the film industry, focusing on the data and statistics which reveal what's going on.

Are audiences tiring of 3D movies?

Last week saw the release of Justice League, a film in which a brave, plucky band of CGI artists gallantly battle Henry Cavill’s moustache. The film is available to watch in either 2D or 3D, with most multiplexes offering audiences either option.  I opted to see it in 2D and very much regretted it (not the choice of 2D, the decision to see it at all).

I had a lot of time to think during the movie, so I started to wonder whether many other film fans would have made the same choice I did and picked the 2D version over the extra-dimensional 3D option.

Sadly the box office figures for Justice League 2D vs Justice League 3D are unlikely to be released so …

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How profitable are horror movies?

The horror genre is a perennial favourite among filmmakers.  The general perception is that they are fun to make, achievable on the lowest budgets and can earn a lot of money.

The final item on that list normally relies on the assumption that the horror movie in question has a chance to be the next Paranormal Activity or Blair Witch Project, both of which were ludicrously successful and therefore almost certainly highly profitable.

But what of the horror genre more widely?  For every runaway success, there are a whole host of flops and failures which make no money and are barely watched by anyone.  So with a list of all horror movies, let’s take a look at the average profitability.

This research is just one …

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What types of horror films do television broadcasters want?

When new filmmakers think about their movie reaching audiences, they tend to picture its cinema release, or maybe what it will look like when it hits DVD shelves. Few fantasise about their movie’s first ever television broadcast.

Despite this, television is the largest source of revenue for movies.  This means that the total amount paid by broadcasters to licence movies is greater than the amount filmmakers earn from the theatrical release (i.e. cinemas), greater than all the money earned via video on demand platforms (i.e. iTunes and Netflix) and greater even than Home Entertainment revenues (i.e. DVDs and Blu-Ray).

Even if it’s not possible to get the granular level of detail we are used to from cinemas, filmmakers should do all they can to …

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The handful of tropes used by most horror movie posters

How many times have you seen a new movie poster and thought ‘That looks just like the poster for [another movie]”?  I’m guessing… pretty often.

Movie poster designers don’t seem worried about their work feeling derivative and often they are actually counting on your sense of déjà vu to promote their new movie. So it’s not surprising that some movie posters end up looking similar to one another. Even with that in mind, I doubt most people are aware of just how little diversity there is within movies of the same genre.  Today, I’m going to share the patterns among horror movie posters.

This research was part of an eighteen-month project I conducted studying all aspects of horror movies. The final result is …

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