When it comes to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, by now everyone has seen the trailers and asked the most important question about the film: will it find success?
A group of computer scientists decided to figure out the answer to that question out by developing an algorithm that predicts just how much profit a film might make. However, that algorithm gave Batman v Superman low odds: computers predict that the movie only has a 32 percent chance at taking in enough money to make a profit, which the algorithm defined as earning at least $7.3 million.
The team trained its software by having it look at more than 2,500 movies that came out between 2000 and 2010, studying each movie's cast, director, genre, plot and release date, along with how much money it brought in. Using that information, the algorithm made a prediction about several upcoming film releases this year, including Batman v Superman. And unfortunately, Batman v Superman's chance for profit doesn't look good, particularly when compared with 2016 films with better odds of turning a profit, including Disney's Zootopia and the comedy Masterminds.
Of course, Batman v Superman is a film that already had a budget of more than $200 million, along with an expensive cast.
"It's easier to predict the box office receipts if you have star power, but that doesn't help in predicting profitability because the actors charge such a hefty fee upfront that it reduces the profit," said Dr. Kang Zhao from the University of Iowa to the Daily Mirror.
That already stacks the odds against the film making much of a profit, but Warner Bros. still seems intent on seeing BvS through to the end, although rumors report that the studio is nervous about the film's release.
"Warner is a little bit worried," said film critic Drew McWeeny to HitFix. "This movie is starting to scare them. They're showing it to people now, people are actually laying eyes on the film, and the response has not been exactly what they wanted .... The two things that I keep hearing work - I hear Ben Affleck's very good, and I hear Jesse Eisenberg is great. So I would not be surprised if Batman becomes the focus from here until the movie comes out."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice releases March 25 in theaters.