The goal of the project is to familiarize the student with the process of (a) collecting and (b) organizing both quantitative and qualitative data by means of visually relevant graphic statistical tools (tables, graphs, charts, etc.) in order to facilitate a primarily descriptive statistical analysis of the “blockbuster” phenomenon within the US-based Film Industry (the so-called ‘domestic market’).
The study is designed to enable the students to (1) better understand how the major LA-based studios leverage their risk factor to ensure the financial success of their entertainment product, and (2) expand their understanding of the interaction between economic and artistic factors in the world of entertainment.
The methodology and tools acquired while completing this project could then be used to replicate similar studies in other entertainment related fields such as e-games, music, TV shows, mobile apps, etc.
Part 1: Collecting Data:
The students will list the top 50 movies theatrically released in the US based on their box office success. The data is found at www.boxofficemojo.com. Use the Box Office/All Time/Domestic reports (on the left menu bar).
Part 2 Organizing data:
The students will organize the data in a 9-caption table, with the following headers:
1. Title of the movie.
2. Year the movie was released
3. Studio that produced/distributed (use standard abbreviations in the industry: Disney, BV, WB, etc.)
4. Genre using a seven-category distribution:
(1) Animation [A],
(2) Sci Fi [SF],
(3) Fantasy [F],
(4) Action/Adventure [AA],
(5) Drama [D],
(6) Comedy [C] (both adult and children), and
(7) Horror [H].
5. Rating (G, PG, PG-13, R)
6. Budget (rounded to the nearest million). For the few movies that do not list a budget, additional research might be necessary. Most of the time, a simple google search will reveal a few good estimates; use your best judgment in choosing one of them.
7. Box-Office USA (domestic revenue generated through theatrical distribution; rounded to the nearest million).
IMPORTANT: To access all the information needed for 2-8, you need to click on the actual title of the movie in the list, and go to the movie’s separate page!
FORMULAS TO BUILD:
8. Simple Profitability Ratio R1 (=’Box-Office”https://www.homeworkmarket.com/”Budget’) rounded to two decimals. This formula will reveal how much the movie made for each dollar spent to produce.
9. Simple Profitability Ratio R2 (=[‘Box-Office’—’Budget’]/’Budget’) rounded to two decimals. This formula reveals what was the return of investment for each dollar spent to produce. This formula does not take into consideration distribution fees, P&A expenses, etc. To assess the full financial profitability of a movie, one needs to use far more complicated formulas that go beyond the scope of this project.
( Please refer to attachments for the example that is provided for calculations.)
Part 3: Visual Representation of Data
The students will generate the following 8 graphs/charts:
1.A bar chart with the most financially successful genres (based of the total number of films).
2.A bar chart with the most financially successful genres (based on total revenue generated).
3.A time series chart with the most financially successful studios based on total box-office returns per studio.
4.A Bar chart with the most successful studios based on total number of blockbuster movies released.
5.A pie chart with the genre distribution among the 50 blockbusters.
6.A pie chart that with the Rating breakdown of the 50 blockbusters.
7. A frequency distribution graph that shows the number of blockbusters found in each budget bracket. Use increments of 50 mil for the budget brackets.
8. A frequency distribution graph that will show the number of blockbusters found in each Box Office bracket. Start at ‘less than 300 Mil’ and go from there in increments of 100 Mil (see the example above).
To generate the above charts/graphs, one needs to first create summary tables (or pivot tables) that will consolidate all the relevant data for that particular chart. Excel will not create the summary tables for you automatically!
For more detailed instructions for generating the summary tables and all the charts/graphs, please download the PDF named CHARTS which is available below. There you will find instructions for each individual chart.
Please check out the Graphs video which is in Week 4 GTT recordings.
For further help with Excel, please download the PDF file names “Stats and Graphs in Excel” which is available for download below or check tutorials in Lynda.com (through Connect) or YouTube.
Part 4: Interpretation of Data
Students will write a one-paragraph (minimum 6 sentences) containing an interpretation of (at least) one chart/histogram of their choice from the 8 charts they have generated. They should choose the one that they find the most revealing and significant. When exploring the data, they should focus on the insights that that particular chart reveals, and reflect on how would this particular chart affect their decisions as far as green-lighting a film, should they place themselves in the shoes of a studio executive that reviews such data.