ByJosh Weinstock, writer at
Movies / TV / sports by passion. Public relations by trade. Sharing the good word about MP and the best fan community in the universe.
Josh Weinstock

Moviepilot plays Monday morning quarterback with a big data look at last weekend's box office results.


We’re fascinated by data here at Moviepilot. And as passionate movie fans and former filmmakers, we’re also interested in box office numbers and the money side of the business. Talk around town is that traditional movie tracking is broken. With that in mind, we started to look at publicly available data on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google Search - as well as the data we collect at Moviepilot - in order to have some fun with it and play “Moneyball” ourselves. Every Friday in our “Digital Tracking” column for Variety, we ask ourselves what digital data is telling us about how a movie will perform that following weekend. And every Monday right here on MP, we’ll be looking back on the weekend's wide releases to determine just how predictive our data was - what did we learn?


Sequel topples tracking expectations, forecasts box office recovery in 2015
Sequel topples tracking expectations, forecasts box office recovery in 2015

Moviepilot Prediction: $11 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $12.8 million Prediction: $8 million

Final Scoreboard: $15.1 million

Quick Hit: Popularity of original couples with strong first showing in 2015 box office to help horror sequel past digital and traditional tracking

X's and O's: Movie studios big and small are likely thrilled to say goodbye to what was a challenging 2014 in the box office. Based on digital tracking across the key metrics - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Search - films in 2014 often performed up to 20% below box office expectations. In short, 2014 was a struggle, and fan engagement on social media translated less than usual into action at the theater.

But if "The Woman In Black 2" is any indication, 2015 could represent a substantial recovery. With 50,000 tweets pacing "Woman" close to "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Oculus," we predicted a box office total in the $11 million range, similar to those 2014 horror releases. But those 50,000 tweets actually hinted at an opening closer to $15 million, which could mean we're on for a rosier 2015.

Granted, last year's horror sequels "The Purge: Anarchy" and "Annabelle" seemed to dodge the 2014 doldrums, so "TWIB 2" could be just another sequel outlier in an otherwise difficult horror landscape. Don't expect more clarity next week, as lone wide release "Taken 3" joins the club as another sequel release with a solid built-in base. January 16th should be the 2015 test we're all waiting for, as "Paddington" and "The Wedding Ringer" bow in theaters nationwide.


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