Warner Bros. might have avoided the second Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Something, Whatever, if they has this bad boy up and running back then!
News comes out that Warner Bros. are to use AI, that’s actual artificial intelligence not the Stephen Spielberg movie from years ago, to predict box office success.  Which is apt when you think about it, as if there is one thing Hollywood is full of, its artificial intelligence!
The AI-driven platform uses predictive tools and collated data to work out optimum casting, distribution and to nail release dates.

Warner Bros. are also going to use this platform to try and predict how successful their films may be.  The platform will allow them to test profitability outcomes depending on all these different factors.

The forecasting tool was launched last year and offers a unique set of industry insights according to Cinelytic’s website.  They claim the platform is able to accurately predict box office returns using a variety of data.

One function allows users to see how casting certain actors in roles would affect the film’s profitability.  It calls this function “Talentscores.”  It says the system:

That sound you can hear is a thousand Hollywood agents shitting themselves.  Different distributors and release scenarios can also be played out to test results.

Cinelytic was co-founded four years ago by film producer Tobias Queisser and ex-NASA employee Dev Sen.

Mr Queisser was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and said:

“The system can calculate in seconds what used to take days to assess by a human when it comes to general film package evaluation or a star’s worth.”

He maintains it will never replace humans as far as creativity is concerned.  Aware of the limitations of AI he went on to say:

“Artificial intelligence sounds scary. But right now, an AI cannot make any creative decisions.  What it is good at is crunching numbers and breaking down huge data sets and showing patterns that would not be visible to humans. But for creative decision-making, you still need experience and gut instinct.”

Tonis Kiis, Senior Vice President, Warner Bros. Pictures International Distribution said:

“Warner Bros. is excited to employ Cinelytic’s cutting-edge system. In our industry, we make tough decisions every day that affect what-and how-we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world, and the more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences.”

Other Cinelytic clients include Sony Pictures, STX Entertainment and London investment company Ingenious Media.

Sony Pictures?  Maybe AI is more limited than we thought!