Putting a marquee name in a new movie is never a guarantee of success. But if a group of Japanese physicists are to be believed, there actually is a mathematical formula for predicting box office gold.

The team from Tottori University devised a set of math models that take into account how much money is spent on advertising and how much social media buzz a movie gets before it’s released. Using this system, they compared their predictions for success against the actual revenue generated for blockbusters like ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ ‘Spider-Man 3′ and ‘Avatar’ — and they were pretty much spot-on.

“They appeared to match very well, meaning the calculations could provide a fairly good prediction of how successful a movie could be even before it is released,” said a statement from the Institute of Physics.

So what will the group do with its new-found superpowers? The scientists hope to branch out from movies and also apply their model to other commercial markets such as online music, foods, beverages and event organizing.