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.

The numbers behind clowns in movies

Regular readers will know that I often study topics suggested by members of the public.  In the past, they have included subjects such as racial diversity, movie recoupment and public investment in the arts.  However this week, most of the questions I have received have been about clowns in movies.  Yes, clowns. 

To be honest, I’m a bit confused about why the media is currently so fascinated by cartoon-like, buffoonish men with unrealistic hair who destroy any vehicle they’re left in charge of (maybe it’s got something to do with the American election?)

Either way, the end result of all the clown-based news stories is that I have put together the following movie facts to satisfy your clown cravings. 

We’re in a clown movie boom

I …

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Do good movie reviews lead to a higher chance of financial success?

Some producers do all they can to court film critics, under the impression that one positive review in the right journal can herald financial success for their movie.  While other producers scoff at the notion of the all-powerful film critic, believing instead that reviews hold no sway in the actions of movie-goers. 

Bruce Nash from The Numbers and I investigated this very topic, by studying the correlation between the reviews a movie receives and its chance of reaching profitability. Or to put it in the language of the ruthless investor or producer:  “Does it actually matter if critics think my movie is any good?”

We looked at 3,715 feature films released in US cinemas 2000-15 for which we have production budget information (a …

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The ascension of Christian films

In Cannes this year I noticed a stark increase in faith-based content being offered in the film market.  It’s a strange sight to see stands offering wholesome Christian films about clean living next to stands offering horror films with all manner of sadism and perversion (I’m not being rude about the horror films – that’s quite literally how they sell themselves!)

So I decided to take a look at how the faith-based market is performing: specifically the recent rise in Christian narrative feature films coming out of the bible belt of America.  I’m sure this is a topic I will return to in the future as it’s fascinating to see such a quick growth in a new market but, for now, let’s …

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How many filmmakers run multiple crowdfunding campaigns?

Crowdfunding provides filmmakers with a much better form of financing than investment or loans.  There’s nothing to repay, no one controls the creative process and you own 100% of your film. However, some people question how sustainable crowdfunding is as a repeating funding source. Can you really go back and raise more money on Kickstarter for a second film?

Today’s research was sparked by a reader question. James Heath emailed to ask “Do you happen to know many campaign owners who have gone from running smaller Kickstarter campaigns to returning later to do larger ones?”

In order to work this out, we need a lot of data. Fortunately, last year I performed an extensive study of all Kickstarter film projects which had run since …

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