Film Industry

Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for certain what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.
William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade

Much like our Fine Fragrances case study, the film industry has many beliefs about their product not grounded in consumer understanding.

For instance, that success is a happy accident of unmeasuarble an non-quanitifiable factors, that the experts know what people want to buy on experience alone and that one can’t know beforehand what will sell.

We were tasked to help find the ideal movie, that could be proven that people would really watch, for Walmart’s Family Movie night in partnership with Procter & Gamble as a major advertiser.


We needed to prove that an idea – not a pilot, but just the basic synopsis itself – would net 4 million viewers.

In short, we needed to remove the risk from the film-making process.

The Process

Hedonic Discovery

Found the causal factors of Intent to Watch and built a predictive model that was accurate to within 5% of proven consumer watching behavior


Validated the predictive model using 30 real TV shows with an algorithm that produces the weekly household viewers to within 9% MOE


Further validation from Synopsis to Treatment to Script to finished Film [Pilot] using new-to-the-world creative content AND successful television programming


Identified the few ideas with highest Intent to Watch from Synopsis ONLY


With our proprietary, patentable model we examined hundreds of ideas and selected the winner. Our algorithm predicted a 3.63 Nielsen rating.

Fly Over Studios created the movie, Secrets of the Mountain, which aired on Walmart’s Family Movie night on April 16th, 2008 on NBC. It achieved a 3.8 rating [+/- 4.5% MOE] – up more than 1 full rating point versus the average Friday night programming on NBC that year.

It has been replicated successfully 9-times-in-a-row for Walmart Family Movie Night:

  • Secrets of the Mountain
  • The Jensen Project
  • A Walk in my Shoes
  • Who is Simon Miller?
  • Game Time: Tackling the Past
  • Field of Vision
  • Game of Your Life
  • Change of Plans
  • Truth Be Told

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