A professor from Oklahoma State University says he's developed a computer program that can predict if a movie will be a box-office hit before it's even been made. The program judges films on seven criteria, including its rating, genre, cast, special effects, whether it's a sequel, on how many screens it will open and its competition on release, then puts it into one of seven categories ranging from flop to blockbuster, depending on how much money it's predicted to make. We're skeptical of the system, and not just because it's accurate only about 35% of the time, or because it doesn't take a movie's actual quality into consideration. If the professor wants to predict the future based on past events, so can we. Two years ago we wrote about a similar computer for pop music, which, judging by the amount of crap still on the radio, hasn't worked out. It's hard to see the movie computer doing any better, even though one studio is reportedly in talks to develop it further.
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