Home > Basic Science > Can Statistics Predict the Body Count in Scream 4?

Can Statistics Predict the Body Count in Scream 4?

I’m usually not a big fan of slasher movies, but Scream was an exception. It has a self mocking, ‘we know it’s kinda stupid but it’s entertaining so shut-up!’ attitude which I found very refreshing.

The sequels weren’t as good as the original, but they were ok. And with Scream 4 being released on April 15, the question is: What will the body count be?

Well, you have to follow the rules of the sequel, of course.

There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger.

Forrest Wickman and others on Brow Beat went through the data and created a chart detailing the body count as a function of franchise installment number for many popular horror franchises. They were looking to see if the body count “rule” was actually followed. These are the results:

As you can see, in general the body counts do go up with sequel number.

They also came up with an empirical formula for predicting the number of kills in each installment. This takes into account certain factors such as the ‘zombie factor’ and the number of colons in the title of the movie.

Using this formula, they predicted the body count in Scream 4 would be 11.

One can only hope that David Arquette will be one of those 11.

Hurray for using statistics for something useful!

 Update (April 15, 2011) *SPOILER*

Turns out, the actual body count is 15. Meh, not bad.

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