Legendary Entertainment – Film Making in the Age of Analytics

Topics: Big Data / Analytics Customer Products / Services

Alva H. Taylor
Length: 3 pages
Publication date: 2017

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Legendary Entertainment – Film Making in the Age of Analytics

Faculty Director, Alva Taylor teaches two exciting elective courses in the MBA curriculum; Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation, and Strategic Change in the Turbulent Digital Age. In collaboration with Matt Marolda T’02, he created a mini case on how the film making industry has evolved in the age of analytics. Matt joined Alva at Tuck for a day to speak to the Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation class about his experience at Legendary.

On the red eye flight back from Los Angeles to Boston, Matt Marolda T’02, reflected on his new role as Chief Analytics Officer for Legendary Pictures. Marolda had been recruited by Legendary CEO Thomas Tull to bring analytics to his film company. Tull was worried that the film company was becoming overconfident with their past successes such as the Hangover Trilogy, Pacific Rim, and The Dark Knight Rises. Marolda, who arrived at Legendary in 2013, has seen the reliance and confidence of Tull in using analytic information to make strategic decisions. During the interview process however, Marolda was clear to stress that analytics would not give Legendary the answers, but it would help the company base their decisions on facts rather than assumptions and increase the probability of success. While making strategic decisions in uncertain environments is always a gamble, using analytics takes the gamble from playing a random play slot machine to playing black jack and being able to count cards. While Marolda felt the opportunity was clear, the thoughts of how much he had to learn about applying analytics to the film industry was preventing him from falling asleep on the flight.

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