A MATHEMATICAL model that predicts whether films will be hits or not has been devised by Oxford researchers.

A team from Oxford University, the Central European University at Budapest, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics created the algorithm based on an analysis of the activity on Wikipedia pages about American films released in 2009 and 2010.

Researchers looked at 312 movies and considered the number of page views for the film’s article, contributions to the article, edits made and diversity of online users.

The model correctly forecast the commercial success of Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3 and Inception, but failed to forecast the financial return on the less obvious movie Never Let Me Go.