Physicists predict success of movies at the box office based solely on advertising costs A group of Japanese scientists have surprised themselves by being able to predict the success or failure of blockbuster movies at the box office using a set of mathematical models. The researchers, publishing their study June 15, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics, used the effects of advertising and word-of-mouth communication to create a model that turned out to be successful in predicting how each movie fared once it hit the silver screen. The only data the researchers needed to put into the model were the daily advertisement costs of 25 movies that appeared in Japanese cinemas. Their model was originally designed to predict how word-of-mouth communication spread over social networks, applying it to conversations about movies in particular, which was a success; however, they also found that when they overlapped their predictions with the actual revenue of the films, they were very similar.
Jokes aren’t funny? Here’s one idea I’ve been pondering when it comes to half-hour sitcoms: we (and I mean me) tend to fixate too much on jokes. A lot of the discussion is about the quality of individual jokes or how many jokes a show can cram in. But nobody really remembers jokes. What we remember is moments, or more broadly, scenes. The most memorable moments in a comedy occur when a scene reaches a point where everything that happens in it is funny, because the scene is funny and the build-up has been properly done.
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Photo: James Duncan Davidson “Bye, Lisa, I’m off to the TED Conference!” That’s what Scooter announced just before being grabbed by a hook and pulled into a series of wonderful events. So, there was a delay, but he made it. And what he didn’t mention in the movie is: He was a speaker! On stage at TED2012 — the “Academy Awards for nerds,” as he put it — Scooter laid out his question: “Can Tactile Icons Survive in an Integer-Driven Environment?” Scooter at TED2012 (Yes, the Muppet!)
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