Warner Bros. Pictures International is betting that artificial intelligence can help manage its expansive catalog.
Burbank-based WBPI, a division of Warner Bros. Pictures, distributes and markets the studio’s movies outside North America. The unit signed a deal Jan. 8 to use software developed by Cinelytic Inc., which makes an AI-powered platform for film industry analysis.
“In our industry, we make tough decisions every day that affect what and how we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world,” said Tonis Kiis, senior vice president of international distribution at Warner Bros. “The more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences.”
Warner Bros., Kiis added, is “excited to employ Cinelytic’s cutting-edge system.”
Hollywood-based Cinelytic was founded in 2015 by Chief Executive Tobias Queisser and Chief Technology Officer Dev Sen.
Cinelytic’s most recent funding round came in September 2018 when it raised $2.25 million from T&B Media Global, a Thai film corporation.
Cinelytic launched its AI software platform in 2019.
Warner Bros. will use Cinelytic’s software to help predict which films will succeed in particular markets, as well as which stars are likely to garner the most views.
The software also assists with project management and, according to Cinelytic’s website, reduces “time spent on low-value, repetitive tasks.”
“We are very excited to work with Warner Bros. Pictures International, a leader in worldwide content, to bring the power of real-time predictive analytics to content and talent valuation decisions,” Queisser said in a statement.
Cinelytic’s customers include local film studios Productivity Media Inc. and Genius Pictures.
Queisser told the Hollywood Reporter that while AI will be used to analyze data, it can’t replace the creative decisions of a seasoned producer.
“What it is good at is crunching numbers and breaking down huge data sets and showing patterns that would not be visible to humans, but for creative decision-making, you still need experience and gut instinct,” Queisser said.
Warner has a habit of acquiring or investing in technology firms that are aligned with its interests. The company backed Quibi’s $1 billion seed round in May 2018 and has invested in several funding rounds for Culver City-based virtual reality experience developers Dreamscape Immersive Inc.
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