Just typing that headline gave me a total futurist boner. Apparently, a scientist has come up with a computer program that will be able to "forecast the success of a movie based on things that are decided before a movie has been made." Ramesh Sharda, an information systems specialist working out of Oklahoma State University, analyzed 800 films under seven sperate criteria: MPAA ratings, release date competition, casting, genre, special effects, the opening number of screens, and the film's place within a sequel cycle. Sharda was then able to place each film in one of nine category based on its projected success, on a scale from "flop" (projected earnings of less than $1 million) to blockbuster (with potential takehome over $200 million). The system is apparently spot-on 37% of the time; 75% of its attempts landed within one category of the given film's actual gross. Sharda says he's talking to studios about an acquisition of his software; gee, you think they've got reason to be interested?