Do Film Critics Even Matter Anymore?

Do Film Critics Really Matter Anymore?

Films lauded as critical successes don’t necessarily encourage people to the cinema, as was the case for many of the award season darlings like Lady Macbeth and Call Me By Your Name, films which did not appear in the top 20 for box office sales in 2017.

Perhaps it isn’t so much that the general audience pays attention to film critics to decide what film they’d like to see, but if mass critical opinion happens to favor a film they were already interested in, it’s all the better. Negative or middling critical opinion didn’t dampen the financial performance of films like The Boss Baby, Fifty Shades Darker, Murder on the Orient Express, all of which are in the top 20 at the box office. Narrowing the field to the box office top 20 films produced either wholly or in part by UK financiers, there are even more films that earned well despite negative or middling critical opinion: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, The Justice League, Alien: Covenant, Transformers: The Last Knight, and The Mummy.

According to the British Film Institute’s year-end statistics report “the top 20 films earned £732 million at the box office, accounting for 54% of the total box office. All of the films in the top 20 earned £20 million or more, the first time this has occurred since our records began in 2002.”

As one might have expected, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was 2017’s top earner, garnering roughly £81m from its release on December 14th to the end of the year. A film like Star Wars is almost guaranteed to earn money, even one as divisive as The Last Jedi. Though it scored high on the aggregate review site, the reception among fans and general audience was split. Controversy, however, is not necessarily a drawback for a film and, in many instances, bolster attendance as people want to see for themselves what the fuss is about.

Theatre attendance

As reported by the BFI’s 2017 statistics, theatre attendance in the UK was approximately 171 million, which is 1% higher than it was in 2016 and “slightly above the ten-year average figure of 168.4 million.”

Audience Taste: UK vs. USA

On the whole it appears, when looking at both top 20 lists for UK and USA box office numbers in 2017, that UK audiences put their money toward films of a “better” grade than USA audiences. Keeping in mind, however, the size differences between the two countries, and therefore the range in people’s tastes, it can’t necessarily be stated that UK audiences watch better movies.


The BAFTA nominees for best film include such critical darlings like Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Montana, The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, and Darkest Hour. From that list only Dunkirk was part of the top 20 financial successes and Darkest Hour had not yet been released; ironic given its subject matter. In the “Best UK Film” category, films like The Death of Stalin, Lady Macbeth, and God’s Own Country were also financial disappointments despite being lauded by critics. As is sometimes the case, award winners will see a bump in financial gain during or shortly after awards season as they’re re-released into the theatre and audience interest has been renewed. 

The BFI’s full lineup of official statistics can be found here.


Taking the Instagram Data Forward

After a week of taking an analytical approach to Instagram, the results have been successful. I gained 40 new followers in a week when I was averaging losses for quite a while. There has been some approaches I will continue to take and somethings I am going to try differently.

The main thing I’m going to continue to do is post daily. The analytical data showed that this worked in helping me gain followers fast. Once I create a schedule of daily uploading I can stick to, I can think about uploading frequently throughout the day and see how this works.

Another step I’m going to continue to take is to tagging brands in my posts. This allowed my images to reach a larger audience and my target audience. I noticed that through tagging beauty brands in my posts I got a lot more engagement from fellow MUAs.

There are a few steps I am going to do differently to really push my Instagram, and analyse how this works for my page.

  1. Following more people.

I currently don’t follow a large number of people on Instagram. It will be interesting to see if following more people with similar interests affects my follow growth.

2. Engage more with followers.

This follows on from step number 1, but engaging with my followers in the comments of my photos may help prevent unfollowing in the future.  I am also going to start liking and commenting back on photos, and see how this improves engagement. Also with Instagrams new algorithm it makes it much harder for posts to be seen on peoples timeline. Unless people like and comment on your photos frequently your posts won’t be seen at the top of their timeline. So I need to ensure that people are liking and commenting to keep my posts seen!

3. Use hashtags on my photos.

A seemingly simple step, although I am currently tagging brands in my posts I haven’t been using hashtags. I am going to start doing this and see if this increases the amount of likes and reach my posts get.

Now I have changed my Instagram account from a personal profile to a business account it will allow me to see what approaches affects my analytics and works best for my page.

datastories, topstory

Getting the Full Instagram Picture in the Data

I’ve been looking at growing my Instagram profile by taking a more analytical approach to follower growth.

I started my Instagram profile in 2012 but now it’s time to get serious. I’ve found that I get less data by using a personal account so this week I’ve upgraded to Business. This is due to the way that Instagram (under Facebook) wants to make money from advertising. Changing my account from a personal to business profile allows me to see the free analytical data Instagram provides.

I found one free tool which can help me, Social Blade gives me historical data for the last nine months.

As you can see this shows an upward trend in my followers but this has recently levelled out. During the earlier period of the graph where my following increased in fast pase I was spending more time uploading and interacting with followers and companies. However, recently I completely stopped and this has hindered my growth as you can see on the graph. Once I took a more personal approach to Instagram my page came to almost a complete standstill. Here are some reasons why my following stopped:

  1. Lack of posts.

This is the main reason I lost followers, I wasn’t keeping my followers up to date with good content. In doing so my followers lost interest and unfollowed.

2. Posting low-quality, ‘personal’ photos.

The photos I was posting during this period were of low quality, and were more personal. For example photos with friends don’t tend to do well.

This second graph shows how recently I have taken an analytical approach to my Instagram and this has kickstarted growth again. Over the last week there has been an upturn in following as you can see on the graph above. I’ve done this by following a few steps to make my profile more professional and reach out to my target audience of fellow beauty lovers. However these steps can be applied to any market.

  1. Tagging & Hash-tagging brands in posts.

Doing this increases you chances of your post being seen my the brand and people searching their products. I tagged and hash-tagged the make-up brands I used in my posts over the past week and I noticed a lot more engagement from fellow make-up artists and beauty pages than I ever have before.

2. Interacting with other accounts.

As I previously spoke about I followed Chalene Johnsons 5/3/1 rule. The process of liking 5 photos, commenting on 3 and you’re likely to gain 1 new follower. I tested out this theory during my analytical approach and noticed that I gained a lot more interaction on my page.

3. Consistent, Good Quality Posts.

This step is what I saw to be the most effective and important step in taking your Instagram to the next level. It speaks for itself, your posts have to be of high quality and show off what you’re trying to sell well. Consistence is also key, the graph above shows the surge in followers on my page after posting daily.


Becoming A Beauty Blogger

I want to see how quickly I can break into the beauty blogging community by taking a more analytical approach on my Instagram. I had previously made lots of progress on my page, with consistent posts and had the opportunity to work with a lots of big brands. However, as a consequence of becoming lazy with my Instagram over the past year I have seen a big decrease in interactions and my following has slowed down.

As a make-up artist my biggest passion is beauty, this is the field that I am most interested in blogging about. Most beauty bloggers start on Instagram, as it is the quickest place to grow a following. The beauty community is most prominent on Instagram, as it’s the easiest place to share photos and land brand deals.

I have been reading up on the best techniques to use to develop my following I also read a lot about other beauty bloggers stories, and how they grew their account from a thousand to a million followers. I found out lots of helpful information that I can implement in my own development. One of the main things I picked up on that I need to do to increase my following is to schedule more frequest posts.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting at least one photo a day, I will upload these photos during the busiest time on Instagram to aim to get the most impact. I read on a article with Shayla Mitchell, a famous beauty blogger that between 5-6pm and 9pm is the best time to upload so I’m going to aim to post around these hours. Buffer is a great app that you can use to schedule posts on Instagram.

Something else I learned through the article with Shayla Mitchell that I will put into practice is the importance of hashtags and tagging brands. Doing this can help get photos reposted by brands and encourage lots of new followers. It is important to ensure that the photos you take and upload are of high quality and highlight the products well, this gives you the biggest chance of getting your photos reposted.

Another technique you can use to try and increase you following is Chalene Johnson’s 5/3/1 rule. Which is the process of liking 5 photos, commenting on 3 and you’re likely to earn one new follower. Doing so increases your engagement with followers which is an another essential part of becoming an successful blogger. Interacting with your followers can give a more personal connection, and keep them loyal to your page.

Through working as a make-up artist I have met many other amazing beauty bloggers on the same journey as me. One in particular is Gary Thompson (@theplasticboy) who in the space of a year has increased in 30k following on Instagram to 100k. I will be contacting him for any information and tips he can give me to help draw in a bigger audience.

I am going to be putting these techniques into practice over the coming weeks and see how much more interaction I get on my Instagram when I take an analytical approach.


Embed practice Dan


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What defines a League of Legends player?

League of Legends is a video game played by a 100 million players every month on PC. The fantasy Multiplayer Online Battle Arena is one of the most popular games ever made.

(Source SuperData Arcade)

Everyone can download the game free of charge from their website and start playing. The game has a competitive nature, every game the player is pitted against another player this resulted in tournaments with millions of dollars in prize money. The last finals of the League of Legends world cup had 43 million unique viewers.

Players can be put in three different categories: (either by themselves or as a target audience for a company) Casual, Semi-Hardcore and Hardcore.

Casual players normally don’t take the game seriously, they don’t have the desire to improve as much and they play mainly just for fun. They see games as something on the side, like reading a book or watching a movie but it doesn’t dictate their life at all.

Semi-Hardcore players take the game a bit more seriously, the desire to improve is there even though they also might play other games. They have jobs or go to university but most of their free time is spent on video games. These are the kind of players you might find talking to other players in forums or talk about it to their friends.

Hardcore players are the type of players that spend a great deal of their waking life playing the game. They try to improve the most by spending a lot of time playing the game. Hardcore players might live in Team houses to get as good as possible to compete for money. They live and breath video games. They are or have a strong desire to become a professional gamer and be paid for playing the game.

In League of Legends things are a bit different. A survey done by Pieter van Hulst asked a wide variety of players how much time players spent playing League of Legends. There wasn’t that much of a difference between the Semi-hardcore and the Hardcore crowd.

It is clear that the people who define themselves as casual users don’t spend as much time playing League of Legends but there are some that play as much as the Hardcore and Semi hardcore crowd. There is another way to make a clear distinction between the kind of players: the “game modes”

To show that you have become a better player in League of Legends you have to play in the Ranked game mode. Here you can accumulate points, the more points you get the higher your rank becomes. The hardcore type of player wants to climb up the ranks to show the rest of the world and himself that he has in fact become better. The casual type doesn’t really care that much about their rank and will play in the more ‘Fun’ oriented game modes. The semi hardcore player wants to climb the ladder but will also play in the ‘Fun’ modes more than the Hardcore player.

These graphs and information show why a game like League of Legends is as big as it is because there is something to do for everyone. Players that play 5 hours or less might not be as good as the players that play 20 hours or more but that doesn’t mean that they are not having fun.

Another difference between the sub categories can be seen in the amount of money players spend on the game.

A large share of the casual player base didn’t buy anything last year, however a large share also spend more than $80. Of course players from different backgrounds play the game. The income of the players doesn’t affect the category but it does affect how much money they spend on the game. The Hardcore graph shows that the largest share of players spend $80 or more though.


Gentrification in South London


Gentrification as defined by

..the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.

As the cool and trendy hipster trend emerged its way quietly into London, as did gentrification. It took place almost suddenly. Although this is not a new concept, the effects can be lasting and detrimental.


South London is known for its rough and rowdiness, especially in areas such as Peckham and Brixton. Notorious for gangs, violence and home to heavily populated Afro and Afr0-Caribbean communities.

Since Boris Johnson, the mayor,  has been in power since 2008, there has been rapid ‘housing development’ in not only South London, but London as a whole. Particularly taking place in areas which are considered ‘deprived’.


This article shall focus mainly on the areas: Brixton, Peckham and Camberwell, areas which have been considered deprived. Particularly focusing on housing and the correlation between gentrification and housing.

This graph illustrates the great increase of house prices in the chosen areas (Brixton, Peckham and Camberwell). Due to the fact these areas were deemed as deprived, house prices were considerably lower than the average house prices on the London.

The demand for housing increased as more people brought homes in these areas as they were considerably cheaper. Increasing the price and as a result making it harder for community locals to stay in their own areas.


Gentrification is not the only factor for the lack of housing and booming house prices. As a result of increased population in London in 2008, the demand for housing has subsequently became greater.

Taking a look at the monthly gradual housing increase from 2008 and 2015. The drastic increase is clearly visible.


Although housing prices in London and South London may not be as a direct result of gentrification, it has certainly been a contributing factor.