Can Twitter predict box office success?

The use of social data to predict the future is growing ever more widespread.  Only last week researchers believed that they could predict stock market movements based upon the search data found in Google Trends.

Can the number of tweets help to predict the success of the latest blockbuster?  That’s the hypothesis from a new study by Salorix.  They believe that the number of tweets surrounding a movie before it’s launch can be a good guide to the commercial success of that movie.

The research analysed over 1 million tweets to gauge the level of buzz surrounding some of the top movies released over the past week, before discovering the box office success of those films.

For instance Pain and Gain was shown to have had most tweets about it over the past week, with that reflected in its position at the top of the box office charts for the same period.

They used the same process to predict how successful Iron Man 3 will be based on the number of tweets around the movie.  They believe that based on the 850,000 tweets made about the movie will see the movie reap around $300 million in revenue in the opening week of its release.

It would be nice to see this methodology fleshed out a whole lot more to see whether it does unearth a more dependable way of predicting future ticket sales.  In the meantime though, you can read the report below.


2 thoughts on “Can Twitter predict box office success?

  1. Interesting concept, but like you, I think a much bigger sample would be required before conclusions can be drawn.

  2. Hmm, I'd want to see much more research done on this. I haven't even heard of half of those movies! It would be nice to know for instance if it's just the volume of tweets or whether the sentiment counts too.

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