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Big Movies, Big Data
Blockbusters are getting bigger, thanks to greater data demands during production, such as elaborate
computer-generated imagery (CGI) effects, 3D cinematography, and localized versions, as well as the
size of the end product, including 3D, 4K, and IMAX releases. Take a look at how data plays a starring role
in every part of movie making.
Forecasts predict the entertainment industry's total annual data production
Film studios look to in-depth analytics to project how a film will perform
before it even enters production. One model for predicting a film’s
performance incorporates 12
1. Total and weekly movie attendance
3. Country of origin
4. Age rating
8. Advertising spending
9. Number of copies at release time
11. Sequel existence
12. Date of release or seasonality
Visual effects and 3D animation studios are now using 10s of thousands of
compute cores to render scenes for their movies.
Uncompressed 2K frames (similar to HD) are 12 MB,
for a total of 288 MB per second.4 & 5
Uncompressed 4K frames (similar to Ultra HD) are roughly 40 MB.
That's about 1 GB per second. A typical two-hour movie yields 20 hours of
source content, adding up to more than TB of data.7
= 8.8 million pixels
A modern blockbuster is distributed to theaters on hard drives or via satellite,
rather than on film reels.3
Thirty years ago, bringing movies to homes was as simple as producing a VHS
version and a TV edit. Now home viewing takes hundreds of forms, appearing
on a wide range of services and platforms. Today a movie file can range from
150 MB for a version streaming on a mobile phone to GB for a 3D HD
Blu-ray edition.8 & 9
Home streaming services like Netflix compress films to over 100 different
versions to accommodate different bandwidths, devices and languages.8
by 2017, a 4X increase in just five years.1
Studios distribute multiple versions of a film simultaneously, often including 3D
and IMAX versions. Different cuts are custom-tailored to audiences in different
regions and countries, in many cases including entire original scenes.6
2X3D films consume as much data as 2D because they essentially contain
two copies of the movie — one for each eye.7