From John Horn's interview with Yves Bergquist—a data scientist who studies the entertainment industry at University of Southern California—for The Frame.
I think the elephant in the room is innovation. We're in the post-"Game of Thrones," post-"Breaking Bad" world of entertainment, where studio executives know that they need to innovate in the way that they tell film stories. And a lot of my research is focused on finding out mathematically where in the film they can innovate and where they have to stick to the canons. The main issue with this is, "How do we innovate in a film that is a billion dollar or two billion dollar bet?" If we innovate too much, it's going to miss its audience. If we don't innovate enough, it's going to be boring. So there's this median point which, believe it or not, we can actually calculate mathematically, and that's where a lot of my research is going.
The whole piece is five minutes, and worth a listen.