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New Software Determines If a Movie Will Be a Hit or a Flop Based On Script Alone

New Software Determines If a Movie Will Be a Hit or a Flop Based On Script Alone: Nicolas Cage as screenwriting brothers in "Adaptation"

Nicolas Cage as screenwriting brothers in "Adaptation"

Well, Hollywood finally has the technology to straight up give us what we want, apparently. New software makes it possible to tell if a movie sucks or not before it’s even made. Founded a year ago in Belgium and set to launch in full this year, ScriptBook can determine a movie’s hit-or-miss potential at the box office by running an algorithm on the script.

Utilizing a growing database of scripts (2,000 currently), the software scans and compares the new screenplay. While it may not help your hopeful writer heart pen a flick that would satisfy critics and the public, CEO Nadira Azermai is ready to serve studios.

“If your job was reading scripts and you read ten, you will have your own choice. But you need the objective sense to see what builds a great story. A film studio has thousands of scripts and they have a huge backlog. All the scripts need to be read and assessed and we can do that at a speed of light.”

The whole thing sounds like something out of Futurama, which actually has an episode featuring robotic Hollywood executives that are programmed to only like what’s been done before and generally underestimate Middle America. Azermai says it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.

“We went back to what make a story great—how a story should be structured and the key elements, what kind of dialogue, what kind of journey is the hero on. There are certain rules to stories even if you go back to Shakespeare and the three-act play.”

Studios must be hyped, given that, according to Azermai, 87% of films lose money. The problem, however, is that creatives worry this will only lead studios to give the okay to what ScriptBook dictates. Azermai says no, as a “creativity measure” is needed to evaluate nuances like tone and humor, hoping to “make sure those films don’t end up or fall through the cracks.”

I’m just hoping this means a hundred more Mission: Impossibles.

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