Big Screen, Big Data - The Role of Data in Movie Making

When deciding to see a movie twenty years ago you’d have a simple question to ask yourself: Do I go to the cinema or wait for a film to be available for rent? The answer was often a matter of budget, or schedule, or desire. It was, relatively speaking, a quaint and simple process. Relative to today, that is. Today the movie audience has to choose from the cinema, download and streaming services such as iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix, rental options such as Redbox, or buying a movie on DVD or Blu-Ray.


It may come as a surprise that Hollywood has some challenges, too. For example, film studios really do their homework to determine how well a film will do at the box office. One model for their predictions uses twelve variables such as genre, country of origin, director, age rating, and much more. Another challenge is storage, where one single frame of uncompressed 4K video footage can be roughly 40 megabytes. Not much, but there are 24 frames shown on screen every second. That 4K movie is probably 3 terabytes in size per hour! Imagine how much of a movie ends up on the cutting room floor (so to speak) and you’re looking at a staggering amount of data for just one film format.


We’ve outlined many more interesting data points in our latest infographic, seen below. Take a look, then let us know what you think!


Great infographic. Love it!