The Data Science of Hollywood: Using Emotional Arcs of Movies to Drive Business Model Innovation in Entertainment Industries

39 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2018 Last revised: 18 Jul 2018

See all articles by Marco Del Vecchio

Marco Del Vecchio

Independent

Alexander Kharlamov

University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Business School

Glenn Parry

University of the West of England (UWE)

Ganna Pogrebna

The Alan Turing Institute; University of Birmingham

Date Written: May 30, 2018

Abstract

Much of business literature addresses the issues of consumer-centric design: how can businesses design customized services and products which accurately reflect consumer preferences? This paper uses data science natural language processing methodology to explore whether and to what extent emotions shape consumer preferences for media and entertainment content. Using a unique filtered dataset of 6,174 movie scripts, we generate a mapping of screen content to capture the emotional trajectory of each motion picture. We then combine the obtained mappings into clusters which represent groupings of consumer emotional journeys. These clusters are used to predict overall success parameters of the movies including box office revenues, viewer satisfaction levels (captured by IMDb ratings), awards, as well as the number of viewers’ and critics’ reviews. We find that like books all movie stories are dominated by 6 basic shapes. The highest box offices are associated with the Man in a Hole shape which is characterized by an emotional fall followed by an emotional rise. This shape results in financially successful movies irrespective of genre and production budget. Yet, Man in a Hole succeeds not because it produces most “liked” movies but because it generates most “talked about” movies. Interestingly, a carefully chosen combination of production budget and genre may produce a financially successful movie with any emotional shape. Implications of this analysis for generating on-demand content and for driving business model innovation in entertainment industries are discussed.

Keywords: Sentiment Analysis, Consumer-Centric Design, Entertainment, Emotions, Digital Marketing

JEL Classification: C5, C8, C6, D1, D7

Suggested Citation

Del Vecchio, Marco and Kharlamov, Alexander and Parry, Glenn and Pogrebna, Ganna, The Data Science of Hollywood: Using Emotional Arcs of Movies to Drive Business Model Innovation in Entertainment Industries (May 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3198315 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3198315

Marco Del Vecchio

Independent ( email )

Alexander Kharlamov

University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Business School ( email )

Frenchay Campus
Bristol, BS16 1QY
United Kingdom

Glenn Parry

University of the West of England (UWE) ( email )

Blackberry Hill Bristol
Bristol, Avon BS16 1QY
United Kingdom

Ganna Pogrebna (Contact Author)

The Alan Turing Institute ( email )

96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

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