Last week, researchers at Unanimous AI asked moviegoers to watch trailers for two movies opening on the weekend of December 16th. The trailer for Rogue One was well-known by fans, having been floating around online for months. In contrast, the trailer for Will Smith’s Collateral Beauty was new to movie goers, which makes it all that much more important for it to resonate with potential audiences.
A good trailer can turn a lesser-known film into an instant success. Who can forget Taken’s infamous “I will find you” trailer, which spurred two sequels and countless imitators? But, a bad trailer can be equally disastrous. And this is what happened when researchers asked UNU, the Swarm A.I. platform that lets groups think together in closed-loop systems, to weigh in on whether the Collateral Beauty trailer would inspire people to want to see the movie.
As you can, the Swarm A.I. reached consensus quickly, indicating that the trailer did not make fans want to see Collateral Beauty. Drilling down into the data only makes it worse. The Quadrant Analysis below reveals that conviction was high during the response, the swarm consistently expressing “NO ( by a lot )”.
Next, the researchers asked the Swarm A.I. to predict how Collateral Beauty would perform at the box office. Last week, Hollywood Reporter predicted that the movie would track in the “low-teen millions.” That’s a fairly modest projection considering the film’s $36 million budget and the fact that its star, Will Smith, regularly headlines movies that earn hundreds of millions of dollars. And yet, the Swarm still felt that industry projections were too high.
Here again, the Swarm A.I. was able to quickly find consensus that a lack of excitement about the trailer would lead to a lack of excitement at the box office. And, as the Decision Analysis reveals in the figure below, the Swarm had steadily increasing conviction in this forecast, with any notion of over-performing quickly fading to zero.
So, the million dollar question is, how did Collateral Beauty do this weekend? Unfortunately for the team behind the film, Collateral Beauty took home only $7M at the box office. This is the lowest opening weekend of all-time for Will Smith. Something tells me Will Smith will land on his feet, but this poor showing could impact many of the other people involved in the film as they look to put together their next projects.
And when it comes time to evaluate those next projects, why not ask the Swarm A.I. for input? Because UNU swarms are composed of actual fans, and utilize swarming algorithms that have proven to make average people smarter than experts, UNU could help studios test their trailers to make sure potential audiences find them compelling. And, with so much time and money at stake long before a film makes it to the trailer stage, why not ask UNU which projects would be the most exciting for potential audiences?
If you’d like to participate in upcoming Swarm A.I. sessions or if you have ideas for interesting topics we should explore with the UNU swarming platform, please drop us a line below. We’ll keep you in the loop…