ByJosh Weinstock, writer at Creators.co
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.

This Week: THE BOY NEXT DOOR, MORTDECAI, STRANGE MAGIC

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?

THE BOY NEXT DOOR, Universal

Jennifer Lopez' milkshake brings the boys to the yard
Jennifer Lopez' milkshake brings the boys to the yard

Moviepilot Prediction: $22 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $18 million

BoxOffice.com Prediction: $16 million

Final Scoreboard: $15 million

Quick Hit: Strong presence on Facebook and Twitter help buoy thriller, but Search holds "Boy" back from even stronger push

X's and O's: Jennifer Lopez and Universal will take a $15 million box office open for suspense thriller "The Boy Next Door," but the data pointed to a number north of $20 million. Our thought? J-Lo had the older base (age 35+) on lockdown, and with solid Facebook and Twitter numbers, the younger base (American Idol anyone?) looked engaged too.

But the missing ingredient here was Search. You can't take for granted your target demo - in this case, women age 35 and up. While "Boy" did hit home with women (71% female turnout), the age 25+ audience accounted for just 60%, a number we might have foreseen for the 35+ base. Checking the numbers, "Boy" had limited action on Search (fewer views than "Mortdecai"), and Search is the best digital indicator of a film's marketing reach to older audiences. Universal successfully reached across the aisle here, but more attention to the target demo would likely have resulted in an even bigger weekend take.

MORTDECAI, Lionsgate

What to make of Johnny Depp?
What to make of Johnny Depp?

Moviepilot Prediction: $7 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $7.5 million

BoxOffice.com Prediction: $8.5 million

Final Scoreboard: $4.1 million

Quick Hit: "Mortdecai" did what it could on social media, but Johnny Depp fatigue translates into brutal bowing

X's and O's: The brilliant marketing minds at Lionsgate had their hands full here. Critically panned with a tired concept and a fading star - social media could only do so much for what wound up in the "Black Hat" category of 2015's most disappointing releases.

"Mortdecai" somehow managed the weekend's top buzz score on YouTube (0.31%) and again topped "The Boy Next Door" in overall searches (75,000). But our comparisons to other Johnny Depp releases of the past couple years showed even less social engagement than usual, a full 30% behind sci-fi thriller "Transcendence." We leaned lower than most traditional tracking sources with a prediction of $7 million, and even that was an overestimate. Depp's grip on U.S. audiences is officially at an end, and "Mortdecai" serves as the latest and most emphatic reminder.

STRANGE MAGIC, Disney

Not even Disney wins them all...
Not even Disney wins them all...

Moviepilot Prediction: $4 million

BoxOffice Mojo Prediction: $6 million

BoxOffice.com Prediction: $5.3 million

Final Scoreboard: $5.5 million

Quick Hit: Comparisons foretold opening north of $5 million if Disney could overcome low Twitter action - which, apparently, it did

X's and O's: Thanks to a Search mark of nearly 26,000 - not stellar by any means, but good enough for a $5 + million opening - "Strange Magic" had only Twitter holding it back. A tepid 12,000 tweets hinted that the George Lucas imagined animation was missing a younger base it sorely needed to turn in even a halfway decent open.

Fortunately for Disney, the solid number on Search was enough firepower to drive older audiences to the theater (with their young ones in tow), to the tune of $5.5 million. Still, this marks a rare miss for Disney, who regularly racks up stunning social metrics across the board.

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