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Google Says It Can Predict Which Films Will Be Huge Box-Office Hits


the dark knight rises batman

Listen up movie marketers. 

Google says it has found the key to whether a film will be a box-office bomb or success.  

It all depends on movie trailer engagement and film search.  

In a study called "Quantifying Movie Magic with Google Search," Google says searches for movie trailers a month prior to a film release help predict opening weekend sales.  

"At four weeks out, trailer search volume on Google coupled with both the franchise status of the movie and seasonality can predict opening weekend box office revenue with 94% accuracy." 

According to Google, the more people searching for a specific movie, the bigger the box-office weekend. 

google box office index

More people are searching for movies during the one-week window prior to, during, and after its release. 

google movie trailer engagement

The key for box-office success doesn't only lie in movie searches, but also in search ad click volume. 

"In the seven day window prior to a film’s release date, if one film has 250,000 more search queries than a similar film, the film with more queries is likely to perform up to $4.3M better during opening weekend. When looking at search ad click volume, if a film has 20,000 more paid clicks than a similar film, it is expected to bring in up to $7.5M more during opening weekend."

In addition, Google's report says YouTube searches are also a strong predictor of opening-weekend performance. 

According to the study, marketers should be looking at movie title searches on YouTube a month before a movie release, not just the week of because that's when they'll "have the highest predictive power."

Another takeaway: for the most part, unless it's a big release, moviegoers have no clue what is coming out at theaters until it's about to come out. 

Google says during slow box-office weeks, they receive more generic search queries like "new movies" or "movie tickets."

When a big release like "The Hunger Games" or "The Dark Knight Rises" came out last year, moviegoers were more likely to search for the actual title of the film online.

Other items of interest from the study: 

  • Moviegoers look at 13 sources before deciding which movie to see. 
  • 48% of moviegoers decide which film to see the day they buy their ticket. From this, marketers should realize they need to have a continued presence after opening weekend, not just beforehand.
  • Paid clicks that films receive weekdays Monday thru Thursday after opening weekend are indicators of how the film will continue to fare against upcoming film releases. 

Read the full report HERE.

SEE ALSO: 19 beautiful photos from "Man of Steel">

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