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Brain scanning accurately predicts how well a movie will do in theaters

Filmmakers have long used focus groups and test audiences to determine how to best tweak their vision for maximum crowd appeal. It makes good business sense, and can increase the likelihood that you enjoy a film in the long run. Now, the science of getting moviegoers out of their homes and into theaters just got kicked into overdrive thanks to a new study that shows how neuroscience and brain scanning can actually forecast whether a movie will be a hit or a bust.

Researchers at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management have developed a method for predicting how well a movie trailer will be received by audiences, and thereby accurately predicting how well the film itself will perform in theaters.


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