AI To Fuel The Film Industry’s Future

Affine
7 min readNov 15, 2022

The worldwide revenue for theatres fell from an all-time high of $41.7 billion in 2019 to a jaw-dropping $11.9 billion in 2020. The film industry took a deadly hit from the pandemic, and the following lockdown brought the industry to its knees and raised questions about its future.

Ever since the onslaught of OTT platforms, the media and entertainment industry has shaken up, and a new form of revolution has set the foundation. The film industry is one such domain that has been the recipient of the adverse effects of this revolutionary transformation in the past decade.

While the big screen and an unparalleled cinematic viewing experience are still unchallenged to an extent, access to home entertainment and content on demand is a dent to the box office.

The Pandemic Saga

One of the biggest jolts for the film industry to date has been the pandemic, which brought things to a screeching halt and left the industry high and dry. Movie theatres had to shut down due to lockdown measures, and people confined to their homes took an interest in gaming and streaming shows on their couches as alternatives.

The result? Box office revenues plummeted to an all-time low!

The challenge lies in the future

The 2020 numbers look dreary, but as lifestyles return to normalcy again post-pandemic, the film industry still has a challenging task. Consumer behavior has changed. The average content consumer has seen value from OTT platforms that provide quality content on tap, and film as a product has deteriorated in value. Video on Demand offers immense value, and this is a critical film industry challenge that needs addressing.

If the five-year forecast from 2020 to 2025 is anything to go by, it is not going to be a smooth journey for the film industry. The OTT platforms have wreaked havoc with value entertainment at their tap and dethroned the film industry, aided by the unforeseen pandemic.

But the charm of watching a movie on the big screen is unparalleled. The industry needs to revamp its practices in the process of film production. While a passion for the craft fuels the art of filmmaking, the technical and strategic processes stand to immensely benefit from AI practices explicitly designed for the film industry.

Production and promotion- areas that need efficiency the most

A film’s success or failure has always been a gamble, but the production effort and cost are constant across most film titles. Solutions implemented right from the pre-production phase can result in substantial, measurable impacts.

Many studios spend an insane amount of funds on marketing and promoting their movies. With the current advertising landscape seeing a transformation, thanks to the latest content consumption habits, promotional budgets need to be scrutinized irrespective of the production scale.

Save for the slump brought by the pandemic, the promotional budget for movies has seen an upward surge in the previous years and is back on track for 2021, which means higher spending and a bigger overall budget. While this amplifies the reach of the film across the globe, there are two main challenges here:

  1. Many small and medium-sized studios cannot splurge on sky-high budgets to promote their movies.
  2. Even big production houses sometimes go overboard with the promotions, and the movies earn less than expected.

Efficient promotions are the only way to go forward irrespective of the might of the production houses.

Commercial Forecasting System

Hollywood is no stranger to big-budget titles bombing at the box office while total underdogs clinch big victories. Sometimes there have been instances of a movie bombing locally but performing exceptionally well at international box offices like China.

This AI (Artificial Intelligence) based project management system from Affine helps production companies execute smart, efficient insight-filled decisions across the film’s production processes.

With this AI solution, production companies can predict the performance of their movies on local and international markets and across various demographics and populace at respective production stages of the film.

Production industries can stand to gain benefits as mentioned below by leveraging the Commercial Forecasting System:

  • Ascertain key foresight into film performances well in advance
  • Make necessary changes in the preliminary stages of production
  • Project realistic output numbers
  • Carry out efficient and data-driven marketing/promotional activities in tune with the film’s predicted performance across demographics and media types

Script Analysis

Time and time again, it has been proven that a good script is a foundation for a successful movie. With the diversity of content today, it is challenging to design a script that will assure superior performance at the box office.Script Analysis is an AI and ML (Machine Learning) solution that learns from the plethora of data fed into it and analyzes the storyline to determine its success in respective release regions, even at a pre-production phase. Historic film data helps the solution analyze similar script performances and predict the outcome with near-perfect accuracy over the micro level of demographics and age groups.

With the Script Analysis solution, production companies can leverage the benefits mentioned below:

  • Predict the near-accurate outcome of a script if it’s shot into a movie
  • Ascertain valuable insights that help make data-driven business decisions well before the production stage
  • Green-light scripts that are assured of performing well while making necessary changes to scripts that are not as optimal for business

Talent and Casting Analytics

Many great movies have had surprise castings that worked for them and changed fortunes for both — the filmmakers and the talent. But there have been cases of miscasts that have ruined good movies as well. Leaving casting to gut feeling is not feasible anymore and must be treated like any other business process.

Many production businesses have already adopted AI-based casting methods to choose the right talent optimally. Affine’s Talent and Casting Analytics leverages data to generate insights on the impact of key talent on a movie’s box office performance.

Production companies can indeed gain advantages from the Talent and Casting Analytics solution in the following ways:

  • Provides casting suggestions based on historical roles and in the actor’s portfolio
  • Use the cast as a variable to determine the film’s performance at the box office
  • Rank and simulate talent options based on their economic impact across the film industry like media type, genre, and key territories

AI-powered box office predictor system

The sheer number of filmmakers has grown over the years, and many are challenging each other at the box office, which may be a treat for the viewers, but as a business, production houses can end up with losses.

At the end of the day, the commercial success of a film is just as crucial, if not more than its critical acclaim. If all the above solutions are the factors of the success equation of a movie, then an AI-powered box office predictor system is the main act.

With this solution, production houses, independent filmmakers, and distributors can predict the movie’s box office performance up to 6 months in advance. The plethora of business opportunities this solution provides is immensely insightful and can help film businesses make valuable decisions.

With the Affine’s solution, you can leverage the following:

  • Predict film revenue at the box office well in advance with the highest accuracy rate
  • Decision makers take steps for ROI (Return on Investment) improvement
  • Forecast the promotional/marketing effort required per box office performance across regions, genres, and many other factors

The film industry will sustain AI behind the scenes

Films are not going anywhere, irrespective of the competitors. But the post-pandemic era comes with many changes due to multiple factors, ranging from content consumption behavior to global inflation.

People worldwide are in a price-sensitive phase, which brings the need for film production companies to improvise the game-plan. With the Film industry-specific AI practices, they stand to benefit from box office success and an efficient production, casting, and marketing process, contributing to the overall ROI.

What does Affine bring to the table?

Affine is a pioneer and a veteran in the data analytics industry and has worked with giants like Warner Bros Theatricals, Zee 5, Disney Studios, Sony, Epic, and many other marquee organizations. From game analytics to media and entertainment, Affine has been instrumental in the success stories of many Fortune 500 global organizations; and is an expert in personalization science with its prowess in AI & ML.

Learn more about how Affine can revamp your film production business!

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Affine

Affine is a provider of analytics solutions, working with global organizations solving their strategic and day to day business problems https://affine.ai