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Hollywood studios analyze scripts to turn them into algorithmic hits

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Making a movie in Hollywood is no cheap venture — that's why for a mere $20,000 or so extra, many productions are hiring script analysis firms to turn their films into algorithmic hits. The New York Times spoke with one script analyst, who explained what elements show up in films that flop at the box office (bowling alleys) and what tweaks can make a film shine when it hits theaters (demons should choose to haunt, rather than arise from a summoning). Naturally, many screenwriters aren't thrilled with being asked to conform to monetarily sound ideas, but for better or (almost certainly) worse, the process may actually be working: Oz the Great and Powerful underwent review early in production, and it's made over $480 million to date.