Wikipedia can be used as a barometer to predict the success of the filmsScreen shot

World's largest online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, can be used as a barometer to predict the success of films, claimed scientists.

Taha Yasseri, a physicist at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, developed a mathematical model which can be used to measure the number of editors and readers who use the Wikipedia page for the upcoming movie.

The data "clearly show how simple use of user generated data in a social environment like Wikipedia could enhance our ability to predict the collective reaction of society to a cultural product," read the paper titled 'Early Prediction of Movie Box Office Success.

Yasseri and his colleagues Márton Mestyán and János Kertész tested the model with 312 of the 535 films released in the US in 2010, and found that the Wikipedia figure has a correlation with the success of movies in theatres.

"We show that the popularity of a movie could be predicted well in advance by measuring and analyzing the activity level of editors and viewers of the corresponding entry to the movie in Wikipedia, the well-known online encyclopedia," the team said, according to Daily Mail.

The team claimed that the Wikipedia figures were proved to be 90 percent accurate for box office hit movies like "Iron Man 2", "Alice in Wonderland", "Toy Story 3" and "Inception". On the other hand, the prediction of less successful movies like "Never Let Me Go", "Animal Kingdom" and "The Killer Inside Me" were deviated from the expectations.

The paper said that it "is evident that the prediction is more precise for more successful movies. When less successful movies are considered, deviations from the diagonal line (perfect prediction) increase."

"Since most of the movies predicted by the Twitter model are among the successful ones, applicability of the model on movies with medium and low popularity levels remains an open question," it added.

According to the research team, the model could come in handy for production studios to foresee success of newly launched movies.

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