Can the box office success of a film like Iron Man 3 be predicted by watching the social media conversation? The short answer seems to be “yes” if a report from social engagement analysts at Salorix proves true.
By watching Twitter chatter about Iron Man 3, they predict that the Disney and Marvel Studios film will gross more than $300 million in its U.S. opening weekend.
“Viewers’ updates on Twitter directly contribute to revenues by creating word-of-mouth marketing and encouraging potential fence-sitters to go for the movie,” their report explains.
The analysts arrived to their conclusions by watching last weekend’s ticket sales compared to the volume of tweets posted regarding newly released films. For each of last weekend’s top 5 films, box office success neatly corresponded with Twitter ranking and social media buzz.
For instance, Pain and Gain boasted $20 million in ticket sales with 48 percent of the total Twitter volume.
Last weekend, Iron Man 3 dominated 99.22 percent of Twitter conversations, and it still had another week to go before domestic release. You do the math.
There is also paid chatter to think about. Paid and promoted posts from the studio or marketers may generate organic conversations, but it’s the latter than translates into box office bottom line. But for Iron Man 3, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. A huge spike in the Twitter conversation happened on April 26, the day it was released internationally. Conversely, a promoted Subway Iron Man 3 free ticket giveaway saw surges in U.S. Twitter traffic (but mostly because you had to retweet to win).
It will be interesting to see whether Salorix or other social media analysts continue to develop their research with other films. Using social media as a litmus test for success isn’t new, but a direct correlation or formulaic algorithm than can tell you exactly how much a film will make based on social media buzz would not only be interesting, it’d mean big bucks for whoever can crack the code.
In any case, Iron Man 3 is sort of a freebie, isn’t it? Everyone knew that movie was going to clean up.
So far, it has. Early screenings brought in $15.6 million on Thursday evening, adding to the international war chest for a total of $361 million thus far. With two more days to go in opening weekend, Iron Man 3 has already eclipsed the entire theatrical run of both of its predecessors.
Have you seen Iron Man 3?