Dare to Predict the Unknown
Diving deeply into data, Zhao has unlocked new insights that can help Hollywood investors predict the profitability of movies. Factors such as a winter release, a strong director-cast partnership with a history of profitability (Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks come to mind), and the average gross of a director’s previous movies are all strong indicators for big bucks at the box office. Zhao’s findings were recently profiled in the Washington Post. A rising star, Zhao won the Tippie College of Business Early Career Research Award in 2016.
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