UNU’s Picks: Movies for the Weekend of December 23rd

Rogue One dominated last week at the box office, but now a new challenger emerges. Actually, three of them. PASSENGERS is a sci-fi thriller starring perhaps the biggest male and female movie stars on this planet, SING is an animated feature aimed directly at families, and ASSASSIN’S CREED stars perennial Oscar contenders Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in a historical epic based on the wildly popular videogame franchise.

So can anyone dethrone Rogue One? To predict moviegoers’ behavior, researchers at Unanimous AI asked UNU to weigh in on whether the three films being released this weekend will attract an audience. UNU is a Artificial Swarm Intelligence platform that lets people think together as a closed-loop system, using swarming algorithms to converge on optimized answers. Here is a clickable summary of the Swarm’s responses to the trailers for these three movies:

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Movies based on video games have struggled over the years. Even when one does find commercial success, like 2016’s WARCRAFT, which made nearly $430M worldwide, they tend to be received lukewarmly in the United States both critically and at the box office. For example, a lopsided 90% of WARCRAFT’s box office was made overseas, and the film sits at just 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.

ASSASSIN’S CREED seemed different, though, with an Oscar-worthy cast and director. The Ubisoft franchise is known for its intricate retelling of history, and so it seemed a natural fit to be the first film to achieve the 1-2 punch of critical and commercial success.But despite the film’s lofty ambitions, the Swarm’s response to the trailer was mild at best, and the Swarm believed that Assassin’s Creed will underperform industry expectations

It seems unfortunate that if the Swarm is once again right about this weekend at the box office, the Assassin’s Creed movie is not the great video game movie experience we’ve been looking for. That’s especially disappointing for fans of the series ( like yours truly! ) who’ve been following the adventures of Ezio Auditore and his fellow Assassins for a decade now. But the Swarm remains optimistic that someone, someday will make a truly GREAT movie based on a video game franchise.

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