Correlation between movie budget and its quality

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Does money really buy happiness? What would you prefer: a big-budget CGI spectacle, or a tiny house-set indie?
    Hollywood budgets have no doubt been increasing, but are audiences any happier? Would the industry be better off by producing better, lower-budgeted movies, or do audiences prefer more big blockbusters?
    To answer these questions, the authors of this article listed budgets from 2,598 movies produced between 1960 and 2016, and graphed them against each movie’s user rating. (n=3,446,330)
    The graph ranges from its lowest-budgeted movie Primer ($9K, adjusted) to its highest, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($398M, adjusted).
    They converted our 5-star system into a 0-100% scale.
    Initial observation showed that there is clearly a higher concentration of movies made < $75M.
    Movies budgeted less than $50m (low) are highly concentrated between 20–80% in user rating.

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    Breaking down this graph into clusters for further analysis showed some interesting results.
    1. With the exception of The Dark Knight (adjusted budget of $200M), movies with budgets of $200M or greater never manage to break the 80-percent user rating score.
    2. Movies with near-perfect scores are almost always produced with less than $60M.
    3. Low budget movies (< $50m) produce the highest user ratings, with an average of 48.6%. There’s a 19% decrease in user rating as we move into medium-budgeted movies (39.6%).
    4. As budgets increase, more movies fall below the 50% threshold rather than rise above it. Taken as a whole, as budgets increase, ratings gradually decrease.
    More cool stats:
    • As budgets approach zero, average ratings reach their peak. Movies made for $5m or less produce an average score of 55%, the highest of any budget range.
    • As budgets surpass $200M, average ratings fall to a score of 33%.
    • There are 3-times as many $150M+ blockbuster movies below 50 percent than there are above it.
    This study doesn’t suggest a direct correlation between a movie’s budget and its quality; there are obviously countless other factors at play. However, the evidence does suggest that, taken as whole, less expensive movies consistently produce stronger viewer receptions than their pricey counterparts.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Now if only viewer ratings correlated better with ticket sales and rental income, James Cameron would have to spend some of that money hiring writers - - -
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